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Trump laments Germany, irregular migration and media at CPAC

The US president has taken the opportunity at the conservative conference to double-down on his policy agenda. The self-proclaimed billionaire has singled out Europe, criticizing Sweden, France and Germany.

Watch video 00:36

Trump at CPAC: Now is the time for action

US President Donald Trump on Friday singled out Germany, Sweden and France for allegedly reaping the consequences of irregular migration.

"Take a look at what happened in Sweden. I love Sweden: great country, great people … The people over there understand I'm right," Trump told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

"Take a look at what's happening in Germany. Take a look at what's happened in France," he added after offering a story about a Francophile friend called Jim who stopped visiting Paris.

Last week, critics mocked Trump for remarks made at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, in which he decried an alleged incident "last night in Sweden" concerning migrants.

However, the president later backtracked, saying he had seen a report on American broadcaster "Fox News."

Trump has come under scrutiny for criticizing Washington's decades-long allies, including Germany.

In an interview with German daily "Bild" and British newspaper "The Times," Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" by allowing migrants into the country, many of them asylum seekers fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

'Hell out of our country'

Meanwhile, the US president took the opportunity to double-down on his policy agenda at CPAC, promising to defeat terrorism in part by curbing migration to the country.

"We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days, we will be taking brand new action to protect our people and keep America safe," he said.

Last month, Trump signed an executive order that barred citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US, citing national security concerns. However, a federal judge in Seattle a week later suspended enforcement of the travel ban.

The US president has since promised to issue a subsequent executive order after decrying the judiciary for blocking his attempt at allegedly bolstering national security.

"I will never, ever apologize for protecting the safety and security of the American people - won't do it. If it means I get bad press, if it means people speak badly of them, it's OK. It doesn't bother me. The security of our people is number one," he added.

'No more sources'

Concerning the press, Trump took another stab at media organizations for citing US officials who request anonymity, a tradition long-held in newsrooms when sources offer sensitive information.

"I'm against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn't be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody's name. Let their name be out there," Trump said. "Let there be no more sources."

Since his inauguration last month, Trump has described traditional American news outlets, including CNN and "The New York Times," as "fake news," and even the "enemy of the people."

Press freedom watchdogs have warned of the dangers of Trump's remarks on the press, likening it to rhetoric used by authoritarian regimes.

"These verbal attacks on American journalists are very concerning as they come from the President of the United States, the country which is supposed to have a strong free press protected by the First Amendment," said Reporters Without Borders' (RSF) Margaux Ewen.

In 2016, the US ranked 41 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index.

Watch video 00:25

Trump: 'Fake news is the enemy of the people'

ls/jm (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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