President Trump on Thursday eviscerated House Democrats at a campaign rally in Minneapolis, accusing them of attempting an “overthrow” of the government and pursuing an “insane” impeachment inquiry in order to bruise him ahead of the 2020 election.
“Now the do-nothing Democrat con artists and scammers are getting desperate. Thirteen months, they’ve got to move fast, because they’re not beating us at the polls and they know it — despite the phony polls,” Trump told the screaming crowd.
“They know they can’t win the 2020 election, so they’re pursuing the insane impeachment witch hunt,” Trump said.
The rally was Trump’s first since House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry focused on his dealings with Ukraine about two weeks prior.
He threw barbs at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former vice president and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden and others while hammering home his efforts to rid Washington of establishment politicians — a central message of his 2016 campaign.
Trump ripped Pelosi as “desperate” and described Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), in whose congressional district he was speaking, as an “America-hating socialist.”
At one point, Trump turned toward the crowd, leaning into his off-the-cuff attack lines against a slew of political rivals.
“Isn’t it much better when I go off script? Isn’t that better? So much better,” he said.
Democrats have zeroed in on a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump solicited foreign interference in an election by pressuring Ukraine to investigate unsubstantiated allegations against Biden, a chief political rival and top Democratic presidential contender.
The White House has released a rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showing he raised investigations into Biden’s family and 2016 election interference on the call.
Trump has insisted his phone call was “perfect,” a message he reiterated Thursday evening while attacking Democrats over what he views as a dishonest effort to damage his reelection prospects.
Trump tore into House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for exaggerating the summary of his call with Zelensky during a televised congressional hearing.
“Now the Democrats are making a pathetic bid to save ‘Sleepy Joe,’” Trump told the crowd, referring to Biden.
At one point, Trump entered into an extended and rambling attack on Biden and his son Hunter, claiming Biden’s son was a “loser” who benefited professionally only because of his father’s status.
Trump also claimed Biden had only been successful as vice president because “he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
Trump also railed against the media for reporting that his allegations against Biden’s family are unsubstantiated.
Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani have claimed without evidence that Biden pressed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to benefit a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, that Hunter Biden worked for. The allegations have been disputed and there is no evidence Biden engaged in any wrongdoing.
The rally had many of the hallmarks of Trump’s other campaign appearances, but the president focused heavily on impeachment and the Bidens at the outset of the event, which took place in a state where he is seeking to gin up support after narrowly losing it in 2016.
Trump emphasized the strength of the U.S. economy, projected optimism about ongoing trade talks with China, and took aim at the media — repeatedly — for what he described as unfair and false reporting.
“They are so dishonest and they are so bad for our country,” Trump said after remarking on the number of reporters in the room, which provoked boos from the crowd.
Later during his near two-hour remarks, Trump discussed his administration’s stringent immigration policies at length, emphasizing his pledge to build a wall at the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
“That sucker is going up,” he said of the wall. “It’s the finest, and it’s the largest.”
Trump defended his efforts to withdraw the United States from “endless wars,” following backlash from both parties over his recent decision to pull back troops from northern Syria ahead of a Turkish military offensive.
And he emphasized his administration’s efforts on trade, urging Pelosi and House Democrats to pass the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) instead of focusing on “nonsense.”
Trump was preceded on stage by his son, Eric, and Vice President Pence. At one point, Eric Trump led a “lock him up” chant about Joe and Hunter Biden, before telling the crowd they don’t need to “lock him up” but “we’re just gonna beat the hell out of all of them.”
Trump began his remarks by boasting about his crowd size, saying he had “set a new record” with more than 20,000 people in the arena and said 25,000 people were waiting to get in outside.
“We are going to win the great state of Minnesota in 2020,” Trump said.
Trump also asserted that his 2016 victory had “enraged the failed ruling class in Washington” and said he is still working to rid the nation’s capital of the political establishment.
“That is why from Day One, the wretched Washington swamp has been trying to nullify the results of a truly great and democratic election, the election of 2016,” Trump told the crowd.
“They want to erase your vote like it never existed, they want to erase your voice and they want to erase your future,” he said. “But they will fail because in America the people rule again.”