HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump is turning from his dramatic debut as an outsider president to focus on advancing his plans to cut taxes and get tough on trade deals.
“We are not going to let other countries take advantage of us anymore,” he said Saturday in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. “From now on it’s going to be America first.”
But even as he returned to friendly political turf in Pennsylvania, Trump seems caught between his role as an outsider candidate and that of a now-elected negotiator.
He’s still figuring out how to deal with the very insiders he vowed to drain from Washington’s “swamp.” He’s spent 100 days being educated on the slow grind of government even in a Republican-dominated capital, and watching some of his promises —from repealing former President Barack Obama’s health care law to temporarily banning people from some Muslim nations — fizzle.
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Even with his return to Pennsylvania, Trump seemed torn between who he was courting. He opened the rally with an extended attack on the media, pointing out that he was choosing to stay away from the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
“I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles way from Washington’s swamp,” he said, “spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?”
He then suggested that he might attend the dinner next year — but added that he’d also consider returning to Pennsylvania.
The state was critical to Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November. Trump won Pennsylvania with 48 percent of the vote, the first time the state had voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Trump visited the AMES Companies in Pennsylvania’s Cumberland County, a shovel…