WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected criticism of his campaign tactics, in a wide-ranging speech defending his team's use of a Jewish star and his own praise of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
At a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Trump vented his frustration at a news media he feels is out to derail his candidacy and help Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, deriding CNN, in particular, as the "Clinton News Network."
Trump's hour-long performance was unlikely to reassure those Republicans who would like to see the New York businessman focus his message on attacking Clinton to rally the party behind him at the Cleveland convention from July 18 to 21 where he is to be formally nominated.
He was particularly animated in defending his campaign's use of what was seen to be a Jewish star in a tweet last week that described Clinton as corrupt. The star was replaced with a round emblem after the criticism, but the incident has generated days of controversy.
Trump said he thought the star was more the shape of a sheriff's badge. He described as "sick people" those in the news media who called it a Jewish Star of David.