World Economic Forum executive chairman Klaus Schwab addressed a packed crowd at the forum in Davos, Switzerland, and defended President Donald Trump against a flood of criticism on Friday.
“I’m aware that your leadership is open to misconceptions and biased interpretations,” Schwab told Trump.
As noted by The Hill, Schwab’s comments received a chorus of hisses and groans.
However, the forum’s executive chairman continued to defend and praise Trump while he sat on the stage during the forum.
“The role of the United States and your personal leadership is absolutely essential,” he told Trump. “For this reason, your message here has tremendous relevance.”
As reported by Quartz, rumors of a planned walk-out during Trump’s speech began circulating in response to his alleged comments referring to African countries as “s—holes.”
Schwab addressed these rumors by instead referencing a past Trump speech where the U.S. president used the word “sovereignty” over 20 times.
“This forum, as it has nearly done for nearly five decades should create a base for dialogue, global cooperation, and I quote you, Mr. President, ‘strong sovereign nations with different values, different cultures, and different dreams do not just coexist, they work side-by-side on the basis of mutual respect,” Schwab said.
During Trump’s speech at Davos he praised the performance of the U.S. economy under his administration while also throwing selective barbs at the media.
“As a businessman, I was always treated really well by the press, you know the numbers speak and things happen, but I’ve always really had a very good press,” Trump stated.
However, he noted that the media’s treatment of him took a sinister turn after he announced a run for office.
“It wasn’t until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be,” he added.
And while negative media attention may continue to persist for the president, he rests his hopes on the “spirit” of America.
“We have a tremendous spirit in the U.S.,” Trump said. “I have never witnessed the spirit that our country has right now.”
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