During a marathon, two-hour address that one journalist described as "unhinged even by his standards" and "lengthy even for Castro", President Trump gave the crowd at CPAC - the annual conservative gathering that helped launched Trump's political career - their money's worth, expounding on a range of topics, including the Mueller probe, Trump's national emergency declaration, the Wall, the Democratic Agenda, AOC's Green New Deal, arming teachers, Otto Warmbier, the midterms, socialism in America, a planned executive order requiring colleges and universities to enforce "free speech", 'Pocahontas', his recent trip to Iraq (made, according to Trump, on a lark), The Fed, ISIS, the economic plight of the Never-Trumpers, forest management...the list goes on.
He didn't shy away from the expletives (which is unusual for Trump nowadays), and, at times, was barely coherent - jumping between seemingly unrelated topics and giving viewers the impression that his speech was most likely entirely improvised. We've already chronicled his comments on the Mueller probe and his brutal mockery of the former Trump administration officials at the DOJ who sanctioned it, as well as Congressman Adam "little Schiff-ty Schiff" (see here), as well as his comments on Jerome Powell and the Fed (here).
But those are by far not the only highlights from a speech that was seemingly stuffed with memorable moments - from Trump's decision to "hug" an American flag...
...To the crowd's beyond enthusiastic reception when Trump walked on stage to "God Bless the U.S.A"...
...To the "guest appearance" by Hayden Williams, the conservative activist who was punched by an unhinged leftist at UC Berkeley last month.
Leadership Institute Field Representative @haydentrilliams was called up on stage by @POTUS at @cpac. #WhatMakesAmericaGreat #StandwithHayden #CPAC2019 #LearnToWin #freespeech #ACU #UCBerkley pic.twitter.com/hjgTXzf2Zc— Leadership Institute (@LeadershipInst) March 2, 2019
We've rounded up some of the most memorable moments from Trump's speech below:
During a riff on tariffs, Trump brought up something called "the great tariff debate".
Trump seems to lose his train of thought in the middle of a rant about tariffs and ends up not making much sense pic.twitter.com/gJYcJiH0iW— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Just in case it wasn't clear, Trump informed his audience that he was "totally off script right now" (we imagine few were surprised).
TRUMP: "You know I'm totally off script right now. And this is how I got elected -- by being off script" pic.twitter.com/ouEDGqh9JJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Laying into the Green New Deal, Trump said they want "no more cars" and "the end of air travel."
"New Green Deal or whatever the hell they call it" pic.twitter.com/VK6sowa39V— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Not only does the "fake news" media lie and twist Trump's words, they also don't know how to take a joke - particularly when it comes to one innocent quip where Trump asked Russia to get Hillary's emails.
Trump goads the crowd into booing "the fake news," then suggests he was just being sarcastic when he called for Russian hackers to go after Hillary Clinton's emails during a 2016 news conference.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
The crowd responds with "lock her up!" chants pic.twitter.com/kuCu61UgMr
Of course, it wouldn't be CPAC if the crowd didn't spontaneously break out into chants of "Lock Her Up!"
As "lock her up!" chants thunder from his CPAC audience, Trump mocks the media for its coverage of Russiagate, then says, "these people are sick!" pic.twitter.com/N8m49UphLi— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
How does Trump stay so on top of the cable news cycle? Why, with the help of a little invention called "TiVo".
Trump on Mark Levin's CPAC speech: "I guarantee, I will be watching it later. I have one of the great inventions in history. It is called TiVo. I think it is actually better than television because television is practically useless without TiVo." pic.twitter.com/PWXUZcTlO1— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
It wouldn't be a true Trump riff on the evils of the Russia collusion narrative if he didn't spare a few comments for Adam "little Schiff-ty Schiff".
President Trump at #CPAC: "I saw little shifty Schiff yesterday. It was the first time -- he went into meeting and he said, 'We are going to look into his finances.' I said where did that come from? He always talked about Russia, collusion with Russia. The collusion delusion." pic.twitter.com/Q5J15LKan1— The Hill (@thehill) March 2, 2019
Comey and everybody at the top of the FBI are "bad, bad people" and "that's been proven now with all of the emails."
TRUMP on COMEY: "He's bad. He's a bad, bad -- He's a bad, bad guy. That's been proven now with all of the emails." (Which emails he's referring to are unclear)— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Then says, "The people at the FBI are incredible people. Not the sleaze on top." pic.twitter.com/0zU11PX0sb
Trump loves you, Trump loves me, Trump just loves love.
TRUMP: "I am in love. You are in love. We are in love together. We have done something nobody has ever done." pic.twitter.com/oOiKvZVPTG— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
The president also took a few shots at Marie Hironco, Senator of Hawaii, who provoked a controversy when she said during a recent interview that men need to "shut up."
Trump on @maziehirono: "The crazy female senator from the state of Ohio... the state of Hawaii, right? She's like a crazed person. What she said about men is so bad. But she's standing in the hallway & she didn't know too much about the plan, b/c she can't understand that plan." pic.twitter.com/VcFdcr7xtD— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Apropos of nothing, Trump shared a few comments about a friend of his from New York City (presumably somebody in the real estate business) who is a "stone cold killer." "He kills people for a living" but he gets incredibly uncomfortable with public speaking, and he purportedly asked Trump how he does it, to which the president replied: "It's easy when there's so much love in the room."
Trump goes on a weird rant about a "great friend of mine from New York" who is "a stone cold killer."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
"He kills people for a living, meaning mentally and financially," he says. pic.twitter.com/6lEAFAOdny
Remember the Washington Post's Dave Weigel (who incorrectly tweeted about the crowd size at Trump's inauguration)? Apparently, so does Trump.
OMG Trump attacks @daveweigel!— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
"Of course, the Post wrote an article... he wrote an article, got there
4 hours early, took a picture of an empty arena. He said 'not very good crowd size'... I don't follow him."
He then mocks Weigel for not flying private planes. #populism pic.twitter.com/ya6xWBtagl
The media's biased coverage of Trump's inauguration crowd took up a surprising amount of time, suggesting that Trump is still sore, some 25 months later.
LOL Trump is still attacking the media for its coverage of his inauguration crowd (or lack thereof)— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
"It's all a phony deal folks. But I saw a picture the other night of practically no people! It was taken hours before our great day." #BeyondParody pic.twitter.com/2jYLICKGed
Presenting: Trump's impression of his friends when they call him in the Oval.
This is Trump reenacting how his friends act when they call him on the phone pic.twitter.com/kA05aHd6s5— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Democrats are California are apparently trying to build "Trains to Hawaii".
Trump suggests environmental Democrats are supporting "trains to Hawaii" 🤔— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
He then claims the new gov of California @GavinNewsom recently called him and told him "you're a great president and you are doing a great job." pic.twitter.com/P3cZb5xVEH
Remember forest management?
Trump on climate change: "You have to clean it up. It's called [forest] management. When a tree falls, you cannot let the environmentalists say you cannot take that tree out. It becomes a matchstick... the leaves, every once in a while, you have to remove the leaves" pic.twitter.com/Y53XzPe36Y— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
The Never Trumpers are living "hand to mouth".
TRUMP:"Everyone in this country, right now, because of our new economy is doing well, except for the Never Trumpers. But they are on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Mouth-to-mouth. Mouth-to-mouth." pic.twitter.com/Razvg9pwxX— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
ISIS should be "100%" defeated any day now.
TRUMP: "Probably today or tomorrow we will actually have 100% of the caliphate in Syria." pic.twitter.com/A4iBGdK2xR— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Followed by Trump's trip to Iraq.
Trump goes on a long and bizarre rant about his trip to Iraq pic.twitter.com/H9JRbmlYQL— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
TRUMP: "I'm in the White House and I was lonely. I said, 'let's go to Iraq!'"— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Within 30 seconds Trump pivots to ranting about how Hollywood discriminates against conservatives pic.twitter.com/tmhMu5E4qx
If Trump has one regret from 2018, it's that he didn't wait to drop the hammer on Pocahontas, because now that he's "destroyed her political career", he won't have the chance to run against her.
TRUMP on @SenWarren : "I should have saved the 'Pocahontas' thing for another year. Because I've destroyed her political career and now I won't get a chance to run against her and I would've loved it." pic.twitter.com/U3RsDmwjGI— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Williamson's assault at Berkeley was the last straw: He's now planning an executive order demanding that colleges and universities support free speech.
TRUMP: "Today I'm proud to announce that I will be soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal dollars." pic.twitter.com/xDF5KLcrSu— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
The notion that undocumented immigrants are "better people" than US citizens is patently false, Trump says.
We're now in the blood libel portion of the speech -- Trump says the belief that undocumented immigrants "are better than the people we have" is "nonsense" and "false propaganda."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
"Just ask the Angel Moms how good are they," he says. pic.twitter.com/wD7Wlczyf8
For everybody who's worried about Trump setting a "dangerous precedent" with his national emergency declaration (we're looking at you, Marco), the best way to stop Democrats from doing the same thing is to make sure Trump wins in 2020.
Trump on his national emergency declaration: "A lot of people are concerned about setting precedent. 'The Democrats will use national emergencies, which is something we don't want.' They are going to do that anyway. The best way to stop that is to make sure I win the election." pic.twitter.com/wZiA3SkRDp— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Democrats are embracing open borders, socialism and extreme late-term abortions. Offering some red meat to conservatives, Trump reiterated that America will "never be a socialist country" and added that "we believe in the American dream, not in the socialist nightmare."
Trump smears Democrats: "They are embracing open borders, socialism, & extreme late-term abortion...lawmakers in NY cheered as they passed legislation to allow babies to be ripped from the womb of their mothers. Right up to the very moment of death... the will execute the baby." pic.twitter.com/He2coKazul— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Trump (once again) addresses the controversy over his remarks about Otto Warmbier at Thursday's press conference in Hanoi.
Trump on Otto Warmbier: "I'm in such a horrible position, b/c in one way I have to negotiate, in the other way, I love Mr and Mrs Warmbier and I love Otto... I lot of what I do with respect to NK & and success that we hopefully have, we are given no credit." pic.twitter.com/P4sJTQWJzE— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
Something big is happening in Washington this year on the 4th of July. Is it a military parade? We'll have to wait and find out.
TRUMP: "We need your incredible spirit on the 4th of July. We are having, in Washington DC, a great tribute to America. I hope you can all come. The 4th of July, keep it open. We want to bring millions of people into the city & we want people to come who love our country." pic.twitter.com/Yf5yO59OlE— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019
After speaking for more than two hours, Trump wrapped up to thunderous applause.
For anybody looking for a more cohesive run through of the highlights, here's Sean Hannity's "best of":
Watch the whole thing here:
Meanwhile, some 200 miles away at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders was kicking off his campaign with a speech in his home borough of Brooklyn...
...where he vowed to defeat Donald Trump "the most dangerous president in modern American history" and "transform" this country via a political revolution.