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RUSH: As I scour the cable news networks, I saw all of the backup hosts, all the second- and third-tier hosts that you never see except whatever, and here we are. I always love being on when everybody else is taking a vacation day or vacation period or what have you. It’s always been that way and, if I could have been here tomorrow, I would have, but the staff revolted, claiming that I was turning into Scrooge if I made it all about me, they’ve got things — which I understand, I understand. So today will be it.

You know, now, next year we better start thinking about it ’cause this is a leap year. We better start thinking in advance, ’cause Christmas next year’s on a Friday — and I will guarantee you — yeah, it’s Wednesday this year, Friday next — so I guarantee you I’m gonna be under pressure to take the entire week off, not work. I know this. Well, I’m not gonna make the commitment right now because there’s too much that can happen between now and then. I mean, by that time, the election will have occurred. None of us may want to be here.

Anyway, it is great to have you, folks.

Now, I have to tell you over the weekend — and I could not, I did not preannounce this for a whole host of reasons. It was not open to the public anyway. There’s a relatively young organization out there called Turning Point USA. It was founded by a young guy named Charlie Kirk, and it has taken off. It is a young conservative organization, high school and college age, up through Millennial age young people who have decided that they want to be fully immersed and educated in all things conservative and that they want to be mobilized and activated. They want to be involved and engaged.

And Kirk every December here in Florida has a multiple-day conference that’s attended by four to five thousand of these young people. And he is very tight with President Trump and his family. The president shows up. He has a big fundraising award dinner at Mar-a-Lago during the period of time that this conference is taking place.

And last year, of course, I received the first award this group has offered. And I was asked by Mr. Kirk to introduce the president on Saturday. He was to address this group at 5 p.m. at the Palm Beach Convention Center. And of course I said, “I’m honored, I would be happy to.” I said, “How much time’s involved?” “Well, maybe 15 minutes.” “Fifteen minutes? I haven’t finished clearing my throat in 15 minutes.” “Well, it’s 15 minutes. But the president wants you.” I said, “Okay. Okay.” So I agreed to do it.

By the time I got there it was down to 10 minutes. I must have had had three White House people come up, “How long are you gonna speak?” I said, “Well, 15.” “No, no, no. It’s 10 minutes. We’ve got it right down –” “Okay, okay, 10 minutes, fine, 10 minutes I’m halfway through clearing my throat.” But I’ll tell you, the place was wired. It was electric, and it was raucous. And it was really a thrill to be there.

Now, I ended up speaking for eight minutes. And I’m gonna play you some audio from it. And I need to tell you some things about it, though. This is not in any way excuse making. I just need for everybody understand because people ask, “Why don’t you do more of this?” And there’s an answer to it.

In a place like this, folks, the acoustics for me are just impossible. And in a setting like this with as much echo and reverb as there is, I literally cannot hear myself, and I do not know if the audience is reacting at all. So it’s difficult to establish a bond in a room with 5,000 people. It’s tough to establish a connectivity bond.

Now, my supreme talents and professionalism are able to overcome this, but it still is simply a function of bionic hearing. It’s simply a function of bionic hearing, and there’s no way — I’ve tried I don’t know how many ways to explain to people how things in life sound to me now as opposed to when I could hear normally or naturally. It’s impossible. I can’t think, back when I had my God-given hearing, I can’t think of anything that sounded the way things sound to me now.

And so it’s impossible to explain it to people. It’s an in-the-moment kind of challenge. You have to be able to get some kind of feedback. Is it working? Is it not working? Are they paying attention? Are they not paying attention? If they’re not, how can you get their attention? And then you add the 10-minute time frame, which to me is the epitome of get in, get it, and get out. I mean, you really have time to elaborate on nothing. Plus, the reason you’re there, the reason I was there is to introduce the president anyway.

But it’s such an opportunity. Here you have 5,000 young people — young skulls full of mush — waiting to be shaped, flaked, formed, and molded — properly, of course. One thousand of them were high school students. Such a golden opportunity. I want to play three sound bites from the intro and, amazingly, the media reaction to it. Ha! I came in and I didn’t know any of this ’til I got the sound bite roster today. CNN, NPR, they’re all reacting.

Also, I met with the president on Sunday, and I… Look, this is another thing too. When anybody has a meeting with the president, be it social or business or a combination, you don’t tell anybody. The White House controls that information. If they want to say it took place, then they say it. If they don’t say anything, you don’t. That’s the understood rule. It’s not even something that’s stated. You just are assumed to understand that if you met with the president, it’s not up to you to tell everybody that it happened. It’s up to the White House.

Well, somebody snapped a picture of the meeting and posted it. It was a Politico reporter. Somebody snapped a low-resolution picture of the president and me and some others having lunch on Sunday afternoon, and they got it all wrong except for the fact that I was in the picture. They got the location wrong, they got the people in the picture wrong, and it’s an interesting illustration of how the media just assumes things and reports them.

It’s minor stuff in this case as to who was having lunch, but it really is the case. You meet with them, you meet with the White House, you meet with the president, and it’s up to them. If they want to release pictures of it, they do. You don’t. If they want to issue any kind of… In other words, somebody like me does not come to this program and say, “Guess what I did over the weekend!” You don’t do that. That’s up to the White House to do it.

I could have met with the president a whole bunch of times and nobody knows it, unless they announce it. Anyway, this one got out; it was no big deal. We’ll get to that, because the media reaction to this is what’s funny. They think it was at Mar-a-Largo. It wasn’t, and — as you will hear — you know what the funniest thing is? At CNN they’re all worried. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Trump’s meeting with Limbaugh! That means his advisers can’t get to him.

“That means Limbaugh can undercut Trump’s advisers. Oh, this is not good. This is not good. The White House doesn’t like this. Presidential advisers do not like people like Limbaugh having access to the president when they aren’t around to correct what Limbaugh’s saying.” (laughing) It’s the craziest thing. The sheer paranoia that exists — and the presumption, of course, is that Trump doesn’t know anything. You know, this is the great dichotomy.

Trump doesn’t know anything — his advisers have to tell him what to think, his advisers have to tell him what to say — and yet, on the other hand, the guy is the epitome of evil. He’s the epitome of being wrong about things, and he’s out of control and nobody can control him. So which is it, critics? I mean, nothing’s changed. Donald Trump has advisers, but he doesn’t need them to tell him what he thinks. He knows what he thinks. He knows what he wants to do about various things.

When you’re up close and personal to it, you see just how absurd and ridiculous the press coverage of him is, even beyond the obvious — the obvious hatred, the obvious bias, the obvious fake news, the obvious opposition. When you’re up close and personal to it, you get an indication of just how contradictory and delusional the press coverage of this man happens to be. Let’s go to start with the sound bites of my introduction. Remember, I had 10 minutes. I got it done in eight. This is one of the things that the press is having apoplectic fits over.

This is how I began after having been introduced…


RUSH: I just learned backstage that there are an incredible number, like a thousand high school students here?

CROWD: (cheering)

RUSH: Oh, man!

CROWD: (cheering)

RUSH: I’ll tell you, I have been dying to talk to high school students about so much about what’s happening. I just want to tell you, I don’t have time tonight, but I just want to tell you climate change is a hoax.

CROWD: (wild cheering and applause)

RUSH: Please don’t believe it, whatever you do! I beg of you.


RUSH: Right out of the box: “Climate change is a hoax.” Now (not in the bite), I went on to explain. You should have seen my face. My face was pleading. I was literally begging, because young people are susceptible to this. Look at Greta Thunberg. I was gonna mention her, but I didn’t have time. I’ll tell you how. In fact, I’ll tell you how I was gonna mention her, but I didn’t have time to squeeze it in. But they’ve got people scared to death that the planet is not gonna support human life in 12 years, in 15 or 20.

It’s literally absurd. I told these people in the audience, “They’re trying to scare you into adopting things that will advance their agenda.” I said, “Climate change — or global warming, whatever — contains every issue, every bit of strategy the left is using to transform America away from our founding. It has guilt. It has redemption. It has blaming your parents, blaming adults. It has investing in government, believe in science. Everything they use to propagandize and indoctrinate people is self-contained in climate change.”

I said, “This is not to say the climate isn’t changing, but the way it’s being presented, it’s the fault of the United States. It’s the fault of the United States — United States progress — that’s causing this calamity. It’s not true.” So I said, “Please, when you leave here — I know what I’ve said is gonna shake you, but — dig into it, ’cause it is a full-fledged hoax.” It’s one of those things, folks, when you realize brevity is the soul of wit. I didn’t have time to elaborate.

So what did I do? “Climate change is a hoax.” Bam! Right between the eyes. Now, here’s what I was gonna tell them about Greta Thunberg. Greta Thunberg is 16 years old. Do you know her story? She was 8 years old and watching the news, and she was hearing about the destruction of the planet and how it wasn’t gonna support life in 10 to 15 years — and she had a panic attack and stopped talking for years.

She literally had a psychological inversion because of it. She came out of it and became a full-fledged, 100% activist for this — which, of course, the left then recognized and propelled her upwards on a pedestal. I feel sorry for her. She is a living, classic example of what they are doing to people to advance their agenda. What…? They’re scaring a young woman who’s already got a problem. She has autism-related symptoms, Asperger’s, whatever it is.

They don’t care. The more they can use people with disabilities to advance their cause, the better, because they prop up people with disabilities, and it makes it impossible for people to criticize them — and that’s done for a purpose. I didn’t get a chance to tell these young people this ’cause I knew I wouldn’t have time. If I got started on this, I’d have gotten the hook again, ’cause I had gone over the time limit. But it’s exactly what they do. They take a young woman who they’ve propagandized and they’ve turned into this gigantic, full-throated activist.

They put her up on a political stage. They make her a political person — they convert her into a political weapon — and then if anybody dares criticize her, “How dare you. This woman has autism! Do you have no soul? Do you have no sense of shame? How dare you?” See, you can’t criticize because if you do, you’re a mean-spirited brute. It’s a favored tactic of the left to use people with disabilities in television commercials for Democrat candidates, and they can say whatever they want.

They can lie through their teeth, they can read whatever has been written for them, and they’re unassailable because they are disabled, and no amount of criticism of disabled people is permitted in the Drive-By Media. You go try it. I’ve done it. They come after you. They try to destroy you. They rip into you as having no soul, having no compassion. I feel sorry for the kids like this that they use. I primarily feel sorry for… Look what they’re doing to them — and it’s not just in the issue of climate change.

It’s virtually everything in their agenda. They are scaring the heck out of young people, and then telling people — after they’ve scared them to death — that the reason for their fear, the reason they’re frightened, the legitimate reasons are found in America, and then in the Republican or conservative parties and movement. And they totally politicize this. And most people don’t have the know-how or the desire to even react to it. So people like Greta Thurnberg just are allowed to do what they do uncommented on, and they become official spokesmen.

And then they become, to young people, heroes — brave and courageous and so forth.

But it’s the fear. What is to be gained by telling a young woman 8 or 10 years old — with a steady diet of media — who already has autism, that she’s got no hope, no reason to live beyond the age of 25? What…? Who would do this? What kind of people would take a young person and literally shred their dreams, and create out of them paranoiac, frightened people who think that progress and advanced lifestyles and standards of living are destroying the planet? Well, people who are political, who want a globalist government — or control of whatever government they can get on — are the kind of people doing it, the American left.


Now, there is not enough time to get into the next sound bite. There are only one, two… There are four. So there are three more. As I look at this, I can’t believe how much I got in in eight minutes. But, man, that’s all I did was… I mean, for two hours of prior, I buried myself. “Don’t bother me,” I said. “I’ve got to get focused here. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I want to say, and I’m doing it in eight minutes when I normally give myself an hour at things like this.”


RUSH: There was one other element to the climate change admonition I gave the attendees of the Turning Point USA convention on Saturday. And here’s the rest of the bite. I was feeling time crunched here and constrained, and I wanted to give them an example of something when they weren’t alive to illustrate how kids are used to advance left-wing ideas.

And most of the people in this audience were not alive in 1995. Do you realize how long ago that is? That is 20 years ago, 24 years ago, is that right? Twenty-two. Whatever it is. But it’s a long time, and especially the 1,000 high school students that were in the crowd were not alive then. So here’s my attempt at explaining the way kids are used to advance left-wing hoaxes or phony, left-wing agenda items.

RUSH ARCHIVE: Let me give you an example of how it is a hoax. Many of you weren’t alive for the 1995 budget bill. During that time, the Republicans were being accused of starving children because of budget cuts in the school lunch program.

There weren’t any cuts. There were reductions in rate of growth. The Democrats had a bunch of 12-year-olds, junior high school students, writing letters to Republicans in Congress, “Please, I can’t learn when I’m starving. Please, I can’t learn when I’m hungry.” And the media is covering this as though it’s legitimate. And it was as big a hoax as the whole climate change thing. Climate change contains every issue the left wants in their bid to transform this country. So please, I know it’s susceptible. They’re scaring you. They’re making you think the planet is not going to support life in 20 years. It’s bunk, folks. It’s just bunk.

RUSH: Yes. And then the eruptions began. Now, remember, in the midst of this I can’t tell if there’s any reaction or not. It’s a hearing function. So I have to rely on experience guided by intelligence combined with confidence that there is raucous reaction, and there was, as you could plainly hear.

Now, moving on, I wanted to tackle something that I’m hit with somewhat regularly. Not often. People coming up to me and saying, “Boy, you know, Rush, it’s really getting harder and harder to defend the president.” So here is that segment.

RUSH ARCHIVE: Now, a couple of weeks ago, I’m out playing golf, and I’m a very powerful influential member of the media, I’m very recognizable. A guy comes up to me and says, “You talk to the president a lot, right?” I said, “Yeah, he calls now and then.”

“Well, you tell him he’s got to stop tweeting! You tell him he’s got to start acting more presidential.” I said, “Well, why don’t you tell him?” The guy says, “He never calls me.” I said, “Well, there you go.” (laughing) Then he said… Then he said, “It’s getting so hard to defend the president.” I said, “What? Hard to defend the president? It’s one of the easiest things in the world to do.” President Trump does not need to be defended.

CROWD: (cheering)

RUSH ARCHIVE: The people that need to be defending themselves are the people attacking him and the people attacking us. He doesn’t need to be defended. How do you defend Donald Trump? You attack the people who are attempting to destroy him. They’re trying to destroy you. They’re trying to destroy, they’re trying to transform this country into something that it was not founded to be. That’s how you do it. I find it’s so incredible that people think, “Oh, my gosh, it’s hard, it’s so hard.” It is not hard.

RUSH: It is not hard, especially when all the attacks on Trump are personality oriented and are bogus. But the point is, don’t accept the premise. Reject the premise. There’s no need to be defensive. Go on offense and stay on offense. The people that have a lot of explaining to do are not Donald Trump. Let me give you an example. And this is something else I wanted to squeeze in, but I decided on the spot to edit it out because I could just feel time clicking away.

I’ve mentioned this to you before, so it may be redundant. I wish I’d had the opportunity — but I know those kids are all listening today, knowing that I’m going to be talking about them — so I’m taking the opportunity of the program today to re-reach them.

Go back to the eight years of Barack Obama, prior to the past three years of Donald Trump. In the eight years of Barack Obama, we were told routinely that America’s best days, economically, were behind us, that we have reached a new era in America where it should no longer be accepted that children will do better economically than their parents. We’re in a new era of decline. And it was justified.

Obama and the Democrats in the media telling everybody that America’s greatness in the past may not be thoroughly justified anyway because we were so corrupt in our founding. And we had mistreated people all over the world, and we were engaging in theft of resources that were not ours. And so our greatness and our economic prosperity was something that was illegitimate.

Like Madeleine Albright. You know, Madeleine Albright, the secretary of state for Obama, was famous. And she teaches — or I don’t know if she still does. She taught a course at Georgetown University, and her basic premise was that there is nothing special about America, that America was an accident of timing. The Founding Fathers, the break-away from England, it was an accident of timing, that there was nothing special or unique about it.

And Madeleine Albright was teaching young people and still to this day says that one of the worst things that could ever happen for the world is for there to only be one superpower, and that would be the United States. She was devastated when the Soviet Union fell. Because that left the United States alone as the lone superpower. It is why so many establishment types root for China.

Folks, do you know that among all of the reasons why the deep state, the establishment, wants to rid of Trump, part of the reason is China. They disagree totally with what Trump is trying to do in leveling the balance of trade with China. Go back and look at Tom Friedman and the New York Times and all these other leftists writing about the greatness of the Chinese system where a few elites are empowered to make all of the major decisions for the country. It’s cleaner, it’s more efficient, it’s smarter.

And of course these people all assume that they would be among the elites if the United States ever adopted such a system, which they would love. And Trump is coming along and China is being portrayed as the enemy that it is, and China is one of the targets of Trump trade policy and changes, and there is as much opposition to that as there is to anything else Trump is doing that they don’t like.

Having a competing superpower to the United States is crucial for people who wish to take the United States down a peg or two in size. And Madeleine Albright’s the epitome of it. And she was Obama’s secretary of state. And Obama and all those people believed that the United States was not the good guys. The only way that you can think — by the way, this all ties in to Make America Great Again. The only way you can think that America, as the lone superpower of the world is destabilizing, is if you don’t think we’re the good guys.

So if you don’t think America’s the good guys, and then somebody comes along running for the presidency on a slogan “Make America Great Again,” you’re gonna panic — and they did, and they still are, which I address in an upcoming sound bite here. The point is, you go back to the eight years of Obama. “New era of decline! Lower your economic expectations. The days of your kids doing better than you economically? Mmm. Don’t count on it. Economic growth will be maybe 1.5% max — and we don’t deserve any more,” they said.

“We don’t deserve any more,” because we need to pay the price for all the injustice that we had meted out over the world since our founding. This is what they believe. Now, we’re three years removed from that, and where are we? We have record low unemployment. We have wages rising — and you know which wages are rising? Low-end wages are rising faster than any category in the country. People who make the least are seeing their wages increase more rapidly than any other group.

We have African-American unemployment at a record low, all time. Hispanic unemployment: Record low, all time. We have 6.5, almost seven million job openings in America. We have the stock market that’s gained 10,000 points since Obama left and Trump took over. You think they’re not panicked? They were on their way to chopping this country down to side. They were on the way to getting rid of the United States as a superpower for the purposes of globalism or whatever their desires were.

That’s why Donald Trump doesn’t need to be defended. The people that need to be defended are the FBI, the people that ran a hoax to get rid of him — a coup. The people that have some explaining to do are those that were trying to talk down the economy and literally did. Remember Obama in Ohio during the campaign of 2016, making fun of Trump. (impression) “He says he gonna bring back all these jobs, huh? What’s he got, a magic wand? How you gonna do that? Those jobs aren’t come back! I’m just here to tell you.”

He’s telling people that his own policies put out of work, that their jobs are never coming back. Trump’s on the campaign trail saying, “Oh, yes, they are.” Guess what? They’ve come back. So for eight years the American people had to listen about how it was over. “You had better readjust your thinking. You had better get used to the United States being less of a superpower, less of an economic power than you think,” and three years…

Just three years later, the Trump administration has blown the eight years of the Obama administration to smithereens. That’s why Trump doesn’t need to be defended. It’s why Donald Trump’s tweets and whatever else he does that might irritate people don’t matter. Trump doesn’t have any explaining to do. It’s the Democrats who do. It’s the left that has a lot of explaining to do, and they still haven’t paid the price that they deserve to be paying, and that’ll hopefully happen at the next election.


RUSH: Here is the next segment of the introduction to President Trump I gave Saturday at Turning Point USA.


RUSH: We are in a war. We are in a war for the kind of country America is gonna be. There’s always gonna be an America. But the war being waged now is aimed at overturning, overthrowing, the principles of our founding. That is what the left is attempting to do. And look at how. You’d say that the president needs to be defended.

The people that need to be defending themselves are those who have run this absolutely bogus coup, claiming Russia meddling between the president and Russia during the campaign. They are the ones who have engaged in meddling. It was Hillary Clinton who engaged in meddling with the Russians. The president doesn’t need to be defended. The president needs to be supported. It’s easy to do. He’s —

CROWD: (applause)

RUSH: “Make America Great.” Why…? Why is “Make America Great” so controversial? Stop and think a minute. Who opposes it? Somebody comes along and says, “I want to make America great again.” Why is that controversial? Why in the world is that controversial? Then somebody comes along and says, “I think we ought to be America first again.”

CROWD: (applause)

RUSH: Why is that controversial? Why do people oppose America first? Why do people oppose making America great again? I’ll tell you why. The people who think Make America Great Again is not good think that it is a throwback to 200-years-ago America. They think that it is code for taking America back to the days when it was manifestly unfair, racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. It is not that.

Make America Great Again is, “Let’s get back and restore the principles of the founding.” “America first” is based on the solution and the submission that America is the solution to the world’s problems; it is not the problem. The left in America, the left around the world thinks America is the problem, and we’re not. When America leads, when America triumphs, when America prospers, the world does greater than ever.


RUSH: What is controversial about that? It’s something that’s always, until I learned… It’s so foreign to me to not want your own country to be great. It took me awhile to figure out, “Why does this upset them so much?” The answer isn’t pretty. In the left’s new structure of identity politics where we are not common citizens any longer — and we’re not, folks. We don’t have a common citizenry. We do on paper, but we don’t have a common citizenship, not in these starkly partisan days.

The Democrat Party, the American left is comprised increasingly of people who do not like this country at all, from the very beginning. For whatever perverted, perverse reasons, they don’t. They don’t understand the greatness. They don’t understand the uniqueness. They don’t understand the exceptionalism. They disagree with all of it. They think America was founded unjustly — manifestly so — unfairly, illegitimately, without justice for all kinds of what-have-you minorities.

Just look at the facts in the face and rejecting all of them: The highest standard of living in the world ever, the highest life expectancy in the world ever in a nation of less than 250 years compared to nations who’ve been around for thousands. But it scares them because the objective is what Make America Great Again rejects. The objective is… You know, you call it “the transformation of the country.” What does that mean?

It means these people would love to get rid of the Constitution and like to rewrite a constitution or a national pact that empowers government to do everything, not limit it. Because it is only with the power of government can these people, in their perverted minds, address their grievances — and that’s what they are. They are grievance existence. They’re not happy. I don’t even think they pursue happiness, and that’s another thing that irritates them.

(angrily) “There’s too much unfairness, there’s too much injustice, there’s too much inequality for anybody to be happy.” Rather than get on board and try to enjoy the one human life we are all given, these people have set out to ruin as many as they can, under the guise of improving everybody’s life by making sure that everybody’s the same — same outcomes, same opportunities. The things they want are not humanly possible, scientifically possible, physics-related possible.

I mean, it’s a slam-dunk slogan: Make America Great Again. The best thing that could happen is a bunch of people come along and disagree with it. We’re not to the point yet where (chuckling) a majority of American voters do not want the country to be great — and we’re nowhere near a point where a majority of American voters are threatened (laughing) by the concept of “America first” or “Make America Great Again.”


RUSH: Ronaldus Magnus used “Make America Great Again” as a slogan for his first campaign. Nobody was horrified by it. They made fun of “Morning in America” in 1984, but nobody made fun or laughed at Make America Great Again. Bill Clinton used it. It wasn’t his central slogan. Bill Clinton used it. There was no reaction to it. But today, when Trump uses it, there’s abject hatred associated with it.


RUSH: I just want to wrap up the rest of the introduction sound bites of President Trump at the Turning Point USA convention on Saturday, media reaction to it, ’cause it’s eight minutes, I spoke for a total of eight minutes, and many in the media went literally bonkers. As I say Politico — somebody snapped a picture of the president and me and some others having lunch on Sunday. A Politico reporter tweeted the picture out, got a low-resolution picture. They got it wrong, it was not at Mar-a-Lago, it was somewhere else.

And they were speculating about what was being discussed, and of course it was very, very bad because here I was with access to the president, and none of his advisers were there, and so I had unfettered ability to mold and manipulate the president’s mind, and his advisers were not there to protect him. That’s CNN’s take on this. Literally absurd.

At any rate, here is when I realized time was up and it was time to introduce the president, I had seen him backstage, Kathryn and I met him backstage. He was wired. He was ready. He loves these events. He loves it, particularly the younger the audience the more he loves it like I do. And here’s how I brought him on.

RUSH ARCHIVE: We really have one shot at this, and the shot that we have at preserving this country as founded (pause) is Donald Trump, president of the United States.

CROWD: (applause)

RUSH: That’s it.

CROWD: (applause)

RUSH: It is an honor to know him. It is a privilege to be here tonight and to introduce him to you. Make him know how much you love him! The president of the United States, Donald Trump!

CROWD: (cheers and applause)

MUSIC: (Proud to be an American, by Lee Greenwood)

RUSH: And that entire song played. The president’s on stage walking around, clapping. The place went nuts. Well, I’d already driven ’em nuts. It stayed nuts during the Lee Greenwood song, which played out in its entirety. It brought chills up and down the spies of people who saw it later on Twitter. Here’s the president, his opening remarks.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. Thank you, everybody.

CROWD: (applause and cheers)

THE PRESIDENT: What a group!

CROWD: (applause and cheers)

THE PRESIDENT: What a group.

CROWD: (applause and cheers)

THE PRESIDENT: What a group.

CROWD: (applause and cheers)

THE PRESIDENT: I also want to thank a true American legend and a beloved national hero: Rush Limbaugh. Thank you, Rush.

CROWD: (applause and cheers)

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I don’t know if you know it or not. He has got like 39 million people listening. From day one, he has been so incredible. Good times, bad times, he doesn’t waver because he is tough as hell. He makes like… They tell me he makes like $50 million a year, and that might be on the low side. So if anybody wants to be a nice conservative talk show host, it is not a bad living, I will say.

CROWD: (hoots)

THE PRESIDENT: But I have to say, he is a very unique guy, and he is a great man, and he has been a great friend. So thank you to Rush. Thank you.

CROWD: (cheering and applause)

RUSH: And he went on I think for like an hour and a half. You know what the longest speech the president’s ever given? Two hours, 13 minutes at CPAC. Two hours and 13 minutes.


RUSH: We have a fresh, new audio sound bite from CNN and a Washington Post reporter, Josh Dawsey. So this is the new narrative, folks…

DAWSEY: We’ve seen Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer; we’ve seen Rush Limbaugh at the golf course with him. And he has a whole host of friends — the Chris Ruddys, Ike Perlmutters — the folks who are kind of his informal, uhh, Kitchen Cabinet who give him all sorts of ideas, some of them that West Wing staffers then have to try to keep —

RAJU: Clean up.

DAWSEY: — from happening.

RUSH: West Wing staffers are trying to keep all of these friends of Trump away from him. But somehow, Trump manages to outsmart the West Wing staffers. Can you believe this? The West Wing staffers don’t want Trump meeting the Limbaughs and the others in the Kitchen Cabinet –the Giulianis and so forth. So what happens? Trump goes out and meets ’em and then the White House, the West Wingers go, “Drat! Drat! Trump outsmarted us again. Trump’s meeting with people we don’t want him to meet with!” Anybody believe this? Well, I guarantee you the fledgling and vanishing CNN audience probably does, but it’s… (laughing) It’s ridiculous and it’s absurd. The West Wing is with him wherever he goes.

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