The Republican presidential candidate delivered his “closing arguments” 17 days ahead of presidential election in the historic setting of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday.
The GOP nominee has recently fiercely criticized what he views as intentionally negative and biased coverage of his campaign. In his address, he once again tried to hammer home his assertion that the upcoming presidential election will be rigged.
“They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people,” Trump said, before swearing to limit the ability of large US media corporations to abuse their power by directing news coverage. As an example, he promised that, if he becomes president, he will thwart a media merger between telecommunications conglomerate AT&T and Time Warner, which, apart from other assets, owns CNN and HBO.
“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting – AT&T is buying Time Warner and, thus, CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration, because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump stressed.
On Saturday, AT&T Inc. officially announced that it is buying Time Warner Inc., one of America’s largest media and entertainment companies.
The Republican candidate also said that he would never have approved the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast Corp in 2013, as he believes such mergers “destroy democracy” and “poison the mind of the American voter.”
“The Comcast purchase of NBC concentrates far too much power in one massive entity that is trying to tell the voters what to think and what to do,” he said. “Deals like this destroy democracy and we’ll look at breaking that deal up and other deals like that. This should never ever have been approved in the first place. They’re trying to poison the mind of the American voter.”
Comcast owns NBC Universal News Group, whose NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC divisions have all been keen to portray Trump in a bad light.
One of its programs, Access Hollywood, recently leaked an infamous videotape showing Trump crudely boasting about groping women. The Washington Post, which received the video, didn’t hesitate to publish the scandalous footage, throwing Trump’s campaign into crisis, as several prominent Republicans announced they would no longer be voting for him.
Trump hit back, though indirectly, pointing at online retailing company Amazon.com Inc., which he believes should be paying “massive taxes.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post, which, aside from outing the video, has ripped Trump throughout the entire election campaign, calling him, “a challenge the nation must confront and overcome” who is “uniquely unqualified to serve as president,” among other things. Bezos himself recently slammed Trump, claiming he’s “eroding our democracy.”
Vowing to sue the women who have recently appeared in the news accusing him of sexual misconduct, Trump lashed out at the media system in its entirety, saying it “fabricates” stories, while forgetting to check the facts.
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” he said on Saturday. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
“But a simple phone call placed to the biggest newspapers or television networks gets them wall-to-wall coverage with virtually no fact-checking whatsoever. Here is why this is relevant to you,” he told his voters, before asking them, if the media is so apt at “fighting” a person who, in his words, has “unlimited resources to fight back,” how easily can it exert its influence on ordinary voters and their lives in its present state.
Though a major target in his speech, the media was not the only thing Trump promised to change if he gets into the Oval Office. He said the whole country needs drastic changes, as the whole system, as it is run today, is rigged.
For example, he pledged to restore government ethics and “drain the swamp” of Washington DC by shrinking the federal bureaucracy, while proposing a seven-point list of economic changes that will benefit the US worker, as well as tax reductions for the middle class and businesses. He also swore to end illegal immigration and replace Obamacare with a health savings accounts program.
“Change has to come from outside our very broken system,” the Republican candidate said, adding that he is being attacked so vociferously because he has been an outsider to politics and has never run for office until now, which he argues is a good thing.
“The fact that Washington and the Washington establishment has tried so hard to stop our campaign is only more proof that our campaign represents the kind of change that only arrives once in a lifetime,” he added.