As rain dumped on his New Jersey golf club, US President Donald Trump raged, lashing out at his Justice Department on Twitter before welcoming members of a "Bikers for Trump" fan group to the manicured grounds.
Dozens and dozens of gleaming Harleys, Hondas and other motorcycles descended on the central New Jersey property for what had been billed as an outdoor photo-op with Trump. But pouring rain and flash-flood warnings scrambled the plan, sending soggy bikers inside a crystal-chandeliered club house ballroom, where Trump signed autographs and posed for selfies and his guests booed reporters.
It was a classic, chaotic Trump scene reminiscent of his ramshackle early campaign.
The day began with a broadside against the FBI, which Trump accused of stonewalling a public records request for former Deputy Attorney General Andrew McCabe's text messages. "What are they hiding?" the President tweeted, threatening that he "may have to get involved" personally in internal FBI business and warning, "DO NOT DESTROY." Trump also revived his frequent attacks on Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, calling him "scared stiff and Missing in Action."
Trump appeared in a better mood when he greeted the bikers, who chanted "Four more years!" and "USA!" as he entered the ballroom. He quickly pointed out the sopping-wet media, which sparked jeers and calls to "tell the truth". At one point, Trump polled those in the crowd on their views of the press, prompting more jeers.
The President largely ignored reporters' questions, except for one about former White House adviser and reality star Omarosa Manigault Newman and her new book, which includes scandalous - and often unsupported - accusations against Trump. The President cupped his hand around his mouth as if to whisper. "Lowlife. She's a lowlife," he said.
Later, when the rain had eased, Trump walked outside the residence, where the bikers had gathered with their motorcycles on the drive. He posed for more pictures, stood for the Pledge of Alliance and urged the bikers to rev their engines.
Protesters face off over racism
US President Donald Trump marked the one-year anniversary of deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a tweet saying he condemns "all types of racism and acts of violence."
Last year, Trump said there was "blame on both sides" for the violence that broke out when white nationalists protested against the removal of Confederate statutes and shouted racist slurs. Trump said then that the group included "fine people."
Yesterday Trump said the "riots ... resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation."
Today, white nationalists and anti-racism protesters will face off just metres from the White House today in Lafayette Square. a Charlottesville marked the anniversary yesterday with largely peaceful vigils and other events, but police had a brief, tense confrontation with students angry over the heavy security presence.
- AP, Telegraph Group Ltd