By Ginger Gibson
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Reuters) – U.S. Republican Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his attack on President Barack Obama that he helped “found” Islamic State and railed against media reports that his campaign is failing, at a campaign rally in Connecticut, a state where he has a long-shot of being victorious.
Speaking for more than an hour in a sweltering room, Trump spent a significant portion of his speech complaining about the media.
He again threatened to revoke the press credentials of The New York Times. The credentials allow reporters access to press-only areas of his campaign events. He has already banned other outlets, including The Washington Post.
On Saturday, the New York newspaper published an article detailing failed efforts to make Trump focus his campaign on the general election.
“These are the most dishonest people,” Trump said. “Maybe we’ll start thinking about taking their press credentials away from them.”
Trump visiting Connecticut, a heavily Democratic state, raised eyebrows among many Republicans.
“It’s asinine that he would be in Connecticut holding a public rally less than 90 days before the election,” said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. “You don’t see Hillary publicly campaigning in Idaho and Mississippi. I have to think this proves the candidate is running the campaign, which explains why it’s such a disaster of biblical proportions.”
At several points the crowd chanted “lock her up,” a frequent campaign rally chant in reference to Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump told the crowd that normally he responds by saying he intends instead to defeat her in the Nov. 8 election, but this time added, “You know what? You have a point!”
Trump also dropped his recent efforts to say he was not being serious when he said Obama was the “founder” of the Islamic State militant group .
“It’s the opinion of myself and a lot of people that he was the founder,” Trump told the crowd.
Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized Trump’s assertion as patently false.
Trump took a detour from attacking Clinton’s economic record to discuss the 1998 scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton, whom Republicans attempted to impeach.
“Remember when he said, he did not have sex with that woman, and a couple of weeks later, oh you got me,” Trump said, to cheers. He then made reference to a blue dress that became a symbol in the investigation. “I’m so glad they kept that dress, so glad they kept that dress, because it shows what the hell they are.”
(Editing by Sandra Maler)