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Patrick Semansky / AP

President Trump's rallies are always a production. But last night's Day 100 victory lap in Pennsylvania — festooned with "Promises Made / Promises Kept" signs — was conceived in cinematic terms: us-versus-them, the people-versus-the-media.

Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that West Wing officials, including Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, conceived of a split-screen effect: TVs would show Trump in full-blown nationalist populist mode, connecting viscerally with "forgotten" Rust Belt Americans.

On the other side of the screen: Washington reporters in bowties and ballgowns, looking out-of-touch, self-congratulatory and elite, at their White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Why it matters: Trump's speech showed his inside-outside game. Inside, he's sculpting his 100-days narrative and giving a raft of interviews, assuring Beltway reporters that he knows they still matter. (And he's already teasing that he'll come to next year's dinner.) On the road, journalists are his go-to foil.

According to sources familiar with the speech's drafting, there was a line that Trump didn't end up using that summed up the speech's intent: Washington reporters are "bubble people."

Trump's attack on the press was as full-throated as anything we saw on the trail:

  • He spent the first 11 minutes whacking the media.
  • He cited polls showing the public doesn't trust the press. He singled out CNN and MSNBC as "fake news" and went on a riff about the "totally failing New York Times" losing money on real estate.
  • He contrasted his first 100 days against the media's first 100 days — "a big fat failing grade.

From the speech: "As you may know, there's another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington, D.C. Did you hear about it? [Crowd: Boo!] A large group of Hollywood actors [Crowd: Boo!], and Washington media [Crowd: Boo!], are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now."

"They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents' Dinner without the president. And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington's swamp, spending my evening with all of you, and with a much much larger crowd, and much better people, right?" [Cheers: "USA!" and "CNN sucks!"] [T]hey're trapped at the dinner — which will be very very boring. But next year maybe we'll make it more exciting for them, in Washington."

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Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

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Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

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Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.

Trump blasts “wacky” GOP Sen. Cassidy after “Axios on HBO” interview

Former President Trump on Monday blasted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) after he told "Axios on HBO" that he is not sure Trump could win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Driving the news: When told that Trump could be expected to win the nomination, Cassidy jumped in saying: "I don't know that."