At a rally in Louisiana Friday night, President Donald Trump came out swinging against the impeachment inquiry he faces and signaled plans to embrace a general election strategy that will again rely on personal attacks against Democratic Party leaders and his potential 2020 rivals.
Trump was at the Friday evening rally, in part, as the head of the Republican Party, a role he has not always fully embraced. While before the crowd in Lake Charles, a small city in southwest Louisiana, he called on voters to support either of the state’s two Republican gubernatorial candidates, saying, “One of these two guys are fantastic.” Governor John Bel Edwards — a rarity as a Democratic governor in the south — is facing a challenge that pollsters believe could lead to a runoff election with one of the GOP candidates.
“I need you to send the radical Democrat establishment a loud and clear message: You are going to fire your Democrat governor who has done a lousy job,” Trump said at the beginning of a wide-ranging, hour-and-a-half-long speech.
But Trump also used the night as an opportunity to attack the investigation into his relationships with foreign powers, calling House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “bullshit.”
“The radical Democrats’ policies are crazy. Their politics are corrupt. Their candidates are terrible and they know they can’t win on election day, so they’re pursuing an illegal, invalid, and unconstitutional bullshit impeachment,” he said.
Trump is currently facing an impeachment inquiry in the House as a result of a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he is alleged to have asked the new leader to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing on the call, saying that it was “perfect.”
More recently, he has ramped up attacks on the inquiry itself. On Tuesday, the White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top House Democrats calling the process unfair, partisan, and unconstitutional.
On Friday, Trump concentrated and personalized that line of attack, saying that Pelosi’s involvement in the impeachment inquiry means that she “hates the United States of America.”
President Trump rails against Speaker Pelosi: “I used to think she loved the country — she hates the country … Nancy Pelosi hates the United States of America because she wouldn’t be doing this.” pic.twitter.com/R7meOSQhCb— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 12, 2019
“I used to think she loved the country. She hates the country,” he said. “Because she wouldn’t be doing this to the country if she didn’t. She hates the country.”
And Trump said that a memo about the call, released by his administration in lieu of a f