Trump blasts ‘rigged system’ and crying baby

ASHBURN, Va. — Donald Trump said Tuesday that outsiders like him need to prevail because current government officials have made a “mess” of the nation and world.

“We have a mess out there — we have a total mess,” Trump told a crowd at a high school auditorium, citing conditions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan as examples. “Nothing’s working out.”

During a sometime-tense rally that featured a number of protesters, Trump also claimed that the political establishment will do anything to defeat him.

“We’re running against a rigged system and a very dishonest media,” Trump told his backers.

Referring to the Obama administration and his Democratic opponent, Trump said that “we have people who don’t know what they’re doing, and Hillary Clinton will be worse.”

Trump also accepted a Purple Heart from a local veteran, who, he said, wanted him to have it for the journey ahead. NBC News reported that the veteran said he made a copy of his original medal to give to the GOP nominee.

“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump joked. “This was much easier.”

Clinton took Trump to task for the remark, tweeting “this from a man who says he’s ‘sacrificed’ for our country.”

The Tuesday rally included a fair number of critics.

At one point, security removed a row of young people who staged a silent protest. The protesters, including one who wore a shirt saying “Black Lives Matter” and another whose shirt said “Islam Peace,” flashed peace signs as Trump backers taunted them on the way out.

“See ya,'” one Trump supporter said.

At another point, as Trump denounced Clinton as a “crook” and a “liar,” a child could be heard saying “take the b—- down!”

The rally even featured a moment not often seen at campaign events when a baby cried out during Trump’s speech. After saying how much he liked babies, the child was heard again, prompting Trump to change course: “Actually, I was only kidding — get the baby out of here.”

Trump’s campaign swing through northern Virginia came as the candidate is under fire for comments about Russia as well as a Muslim couple who criticized him at last week’s Democratic convention.

Trump did not mention his feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed during the Iraq war and who have criticized Trump for his proposal to temporarily ban Muslim entry into the country.

In recent days, Trump has suggested that the Clinton campaign wrote Khizr Khan’s convention speech for him and that Ghazala Khan did not speak because she was forbidden to.

Foreign policy analysts, meanwhile, have hit Trump for saying he may recognize Russia’s seizure of Crimea. (Trump did address Russian relations during his speech, saying “wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with Russia.”)

President Obama, speaking with reporters at the White House Tuesday, issued his harshest criticism of Trump yet, saying that the New York businessman is “woefully unprepared.” He added that he believed Trump was “unfit to serve as president,” and “keeps on proving it,” while questioning why Republican leaders continue to endorse Trump.

New polls give Clinton a lead over Trump in the wake of last week’s Democratic convention, though the Republican candidate denounced some of those surveys as “phony.”

A tense atmosphere preceded Trump’s appearance in an auditorium at Briar Woods High School. Security escorted out two students — one of them wearing a keffiyeh — who were chanting “Hillary, Hillary.”

Another protester interrupted Trump’s speech, and backers responded with chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” and “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

The candidate responded: “15 seconds of fame.”

Trump is in the midst of a week-long national tour. Virginia — a once reliably Republican state that went twice for Democrat Barack Obama — may be essential to the real estate mogul’s hopes of cobbling together the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, a task that may grow more challenging with the addition of the state’s junior U.S. senator and former governor, Tim Kaine, to the Democratic ticket.

“We’re going to be back in Virginia a lot,” Trump said Tuesday. “We have to win Virginia.”

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