Trump says he doesn’t want a ‘poor person’ managing economy

President tells crowd during Iowa tour that economic consultant and commerce secretary had to give up a lot to work for him

Donald Trump has said he doesnt want a poor person to hold economic roles in his administration as he used an Iowa rally to defend his decision to appoint the wealthy to his cabinet.

The US president told a mob on Wednesday night: Someone said why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? No its true. And Wilburs[ commerce secretary Wilbur Ross] a very rich person in charge of commerce. I said: Because thats the kind of supposing we want.

The president was said that Ross and his economic adviser Gary Cohn had to give up a lot to take these jobs and that Cohn in particular, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs, ran from massive pay days to peanuts.

Trump added: And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular postures I simply dont want a poor person. Does that make sense?

He built the comments as he toured the state with agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue and Ross partly to celebrate a Republican congressional victory in Georgia being regarded as an early referendum on his presidency.

Trump touched down Wednesday evening in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and headed to a local community college and then to a campaign rally where he reveled in Karen Handels victory.

Were 5-0 in special elections, said Trump in front of a boisterous crowd that packed a downtown arena. The truth is, people love us … they havent figured it out yet.

Supporters at a Donald Trump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Photo: Tannen Maury/ EPA

He also praised Republican Ralph Norman, who notched a slimmer-than-expected win in a special elected to fill the South Carolina congressional seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, and taunted Handels challenger, Jon Ossoff, saying the Democrats spent $30 m on this kid who forgot to live in the district.

Trump , no stranger to victory laps, turned his visit to a battleground country he captured in November into a gala of his resilience despite the cloud of investigations that has enveloped his administration and sent his poll numbers tumbling.

With the appearance in Cedar Rapids, he will have held five rallies in the first five months in office.

The event underscores Trumps comfort in a campaign define. He laughed off the occasional heckler, repeated riffs from last year and seemed far more at ease when running after Democrats in front of adoring crowd than trying to push through his own legislative agenda from the confines of the White House.

Trumps aides are making a renewed pushing to get the president out of Washington. The capital is ingested with the investigation into Russian meddling in last years election and Trumps firing of his FBI director, James Comey .

Iowa, with its big share of independent voters, could be a proving ground for whether Trump can count on the support of voters beyond his base. Unaffiliated voters, or no party voters as they are known in Iowa, make up 36% of the electorate, compared with 33% who registered as Republican and 31% registered as Democrat.

Self-identified independents in Iowa voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by a margin of 13 percentage points last year, according to exit poll conducted for the Associated Press and television networks. That margin helped Trump take the nation by nearly nine phases after Barack Obama won it the previous two elections.

Trump held a Des Moines rally in December as part of his transition-era thank you tour of states he had won, but has not been back to Iowa since.

At the rally, he touted his administrations efforts to roll back regulations, mused about putting solar panel on a Mexican border wall, derided wind power for killing birds in a state that uses a lot of it and revealed that he recommended the Senate to create a health care plan with heart. Add some money to it!

He avoided any discussion of the scandals surrounding his presidency, other than one brief reference to the witch hunt, his term for the inquiries into his campaigns ties to Russia.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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