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President-Elect Trump Kicks Off 'Thank You Tour' In Indianapolis


Donald Trump is back on the road. After appearing in Indiana earlier today, the president-elect just finished a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. He billed it as a thank-you visit, but he also announced his choice for secretary of defense there. We'll have more in a moment on the nomination of retired General James Mattis. First Trump revved up the crowd with an appeal to patriotism.


DONALD TRUMP: There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship. We pledge allegiance to one flag, and that flag is the American flag.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Don Gonyea is at the rally and joins us now. And Don, the president-elect's remarks sounded not so much grateful as victorious, especially when it came to the news media.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Very victorious and more often than not kind of very in-your-face. He felt like a guy who really missed the campaign trail. It's been three weeks and two days since his victory, and he was relishing it in public the way he can't do when he's at Trump Tower.

Ari, he went after the media again. He really tore into us as being dishonest. And he mocked us. But he also combined that with kind of a state-by-state tour through his victory. Give a listen.


TRUMP: They go for weeks - Texas is in play. Then you turn on the television, like, two minutes later. Donald Trump has won Texas. You know, it's...


TRUMP: These are very, very dishonest people, (unintelligible).


SHAPIRO: Don, you know, Trump spoke a lot about bringing the country together, but his tone seems just the opposite of that.

GONYEA: The recurring theme of this speech was, I'm going to be the president for all Americans; I will unite America; we will be one country. But then he would mock anyone who didn't think he was going to win. A protester was taken out, and he said, she still thinks - she doesn't know Hillary Clinton lost.

And there was that duality there. I talked to people afterward, and believe me. This crowd loved it. They were happy to chant lock her up about Hillary Clinton. They were happy to chant build a wall.

But when I asked one guy - I said, what - how do you reconcile these things - kind of mocking those who had disagreed with him but saying he's going to be everyone's president? And the guy said, I sure enjoyed it; I sure liked it; maybe he should dial that back a little bit. But you could tell he sure enjoyed watching it tonight.

SHAPIRO: As we mentioned, Trump began his day in Indianapolis, home of Carrier, which days ago reached a deal with the president-elect that will keep about a thousand jobs in Indiana rather than sending those jobs to Mexico. Tell us about the Indianapolis appearance.

GONYEA: That was kind of the victory lap for him. Though, (laughter) this one was certainly a victory lap tonight as well in Cincinnati. But that one was more low-key. He read from the teleprompter the whole time. He talked about this deal which they say will save some 1,100 jobs.

But he also addressed critics who said that this isn't exactly what presidents do, kind of talking one on one with CEOs who are making a decision. But again, his reaction to that was defiance. Give a listen.


TRUMP: They say it's not presidential to call up these massive leaders of business. I think it's very presidential. And if it's not presidential, that's OK.


TRUMP: That's OK because I actually like doing. But we're going to have a lot of great people that can also do it and do it as well as I do it. But we're going to have a lot of phone calls made to companies when they say they're thinking about leaving this country 'cause they're not leaving this country.

SHAPIRO: That's Donald Trump speaking today in Indianapolis, and we've been speaking with NPR's Don Gonyea on the road in Ohio where Trump held a rally this evening. Thank you, Don.

GONYEA: My pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.