Trump lets loose at conservative event in longest speech of his presidency

WASHINGTON — In the longest speech of his presidency to date, President Donald Trump riled up the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, letting loose on topics ranging from the Russia investigation and the Democratic presidential field to free speech on college campuses.

Trump, still reeling from blistering week both at home an abroad, attempted to paint comments he made during the 2016 campaign urging Russia to hack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's emails as "sarcastic" and "having fun with the audience."

"With the fake news, if you tell a joke, if you are sarcastic, if you're having fun with the audience, if you are on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people, in an arena, and if you say something like 'Russia, please, if you can, get us Hillary Clinton's emails! Please, Russia, please! Please get us the emails! Please!'" Trump said in a mocking tone.

Trump was referring to a press conference in July 2016 when he said, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens, that'll be next."

According to an indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller, Russians made their first attempt to hack Clinton's personal servers that same day.Although Trump's address at the annual gathering of conservative activists came just days after he returned from a trip abroad to meet with North Korean leaders, he kept the focus largely on domestic issues and the national political fray."

All of the sudden they're trying to take you out with bull----," Trump said, in reference to Mueller's probe. "Robert Mueller never received a vote and neither did the person who appointed him," Trump continued, as he attempted to portray Mueller's team as a group of the "angriest Democrats."

Trump again disparaged his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation, a move Trump took as an act of betrayal."

And as you know, the attorney general says, 'I'm going to recuse myself," Trump said, mimicking a Southern accent. "And I said, 'Why the hell didn't he tell me that before I put him in?' How do you recuse yourself?"

Saturday marked the president's third CPAC speech since he was elected president. In the past, Trump has used CPAC to energize his conservative base — and this was no exception.Trump attacked Democrats as socialists, warned once again of a caravan at the southern border full of "stone cold killers," and referred to 2020 Democratic candidates as "maniacs" and accused their party of supporting "extreme late term abortion.

"With midterms behind him, Trump foreshadowed issues he hopes to focus on in his re-election campaign. The Green New Deal was front and center on Saturday."Nothing is more extreme than the Democrats' plan to completely take over American energy and completely destroy America's economy through their new $100 trillion Green New Deal," Trump said, describing the Democratic plan to tackle climate change as a "high school term paper written by a poor student."

Trump also attacked 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, lamenting that he should not have referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as "Pocahontas" so early on in the election cycle."I should've 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," Trump told the crowd. "I don't want to knock out all the good stuff and end up with somebody that's actually got talent."

Trump also invited activist Hayden Williams on stage as he announced he plans to sign an executive order "very soon" requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want to receive federal grants.Williams, 26, who is not a college student, was reportedly attacked on the UC-Berkeley campus while he was attempting to recruit students to his conservative activist group.

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Inside CPAC 2018
A man wearing a stars and stripes jacket tends a booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A man in Revolutionary War era attire chats at a booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A Turning Point USA booth is tended at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A woman shops for Trump merchandise at the Official Trump Store at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Attendees sign up for NRA memberships at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A young girl wears patriotic boots and leggings at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Marion Marechal-Le Pen, niece of right-wing populist French politician Marine Le Pen, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Marion Marechal-Le Pen, niece of right-wing populist French politician Marine Le Pen, waves after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Dick Heller, the plaintiff of the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller that struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 that banned handguns and required legally-owned rifles and shotguns be kept 'unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock' in Washington, DC, attends CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Arizona Kelli Ward attends CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Toy gun souvenirs and candies are placed on a table for grabs during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Political merchandise are seen during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: 'Pro-Freedom Pro-Life' buttons are seen during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: A woman reads a flyer in front of a cardboard cutout of independent U.S. Senate candidate for Massachusetts Shiva Ayyadurai during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Buttons of possible 2020 presidential contenders, including U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), New York State Gov. Chris Cuomo and former Vice President Joseph Biden, are seen during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: An attendee checks his phone in front of a CPAC 2018 sign during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: The booth of National Rifle Association (NRA) is seen during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Attendees pass by a CPAC sign during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: David Clarke, former Milwaukee Sheriff, is interviewed during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, speaks during a discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Andrew Bremberg, assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump and White House director of the Domestic Policy Council, listens during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee wears an American flag themed jacket while looking at his mobile phone at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Martha Stamp applauds Vice President Mike Pence during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Students from the University of Connecticut applaud Vice President Mike Pence during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Nigel Farage, former leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), attends the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Vice President Mike Pence greets his wife, Karen, before he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Attendees listen to the national anthem during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: William Temple of Brunswick, Georgia, dresses as 1st and 6th Governor of Virginia Patrick Henry, participates in an opening prayer during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 22: Attendees listen to the national anthem during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American Conservative Union hosted its annual Conservative Political Action Conference to discuss conservative agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
An attendee wears a hat displaying Donald Trump campaign stickers during a prayer at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee wears an 'I Stand' hat during the Pledge of Allegiance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee stands during the Pledge of Allegiance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee wears a '45' hat representing U.S. President Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee wears a U.S. President Donald Trump yarmulke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees stand during the Pledge of Allegiance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC that opens today includes two European nativists who will address the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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