Trump was in Dallas to stage his latest “Keep America Great” rally at the city’s American Airlines Center, at which he compared the Turks and Kurds to brawling children: “Sometimes you have to let them fight”.
He also spent the evening attempting to turn impeachment rancor into a political rallying cry, bashing Democrats as “crazy” and unpatriotic as they push forward with their investigations.
Setting a dire tone, Trump told his supporters, “At stake in this fight is the survival of American democracy itself.”
“Don’t kid yourselves,” he said of the Democrats, “I really don’t believe anymore that they love our country.”
A day after House speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats walked out of a White House meeting that had devolved into an insult-fest, Trump denounced her as “crazy Nancy.” “She’s nuts,” he told the crowd.
The comments come as the House continues its quickly unfolding inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, deposing witness after witness as they build their case. But Trump and his campaign have tried to turn the inquiry his way, accusing Democrats of using the Constitutional process to try to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
“They’re coming after and fighting you and we never lose,” he said, predicting the 2020 election will be “a landslide” for Republicans, despite polling showing him lagging behind.
Trump also continued his attacks on former vice president Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter‘s work for Burisma, a Ukraine energy company. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden family are at the heart of the Democrats’ inquiry into whether Trump compromised national security and used his office to try to bolster his 2020 chances by pushing foreign governments to investigate one of his Democratic rivals.
Perhaps most vicious of all was his attack on Texan 2020 challenger Beto O’Rourke, who staged a “Rally Against Fear” nearby last night.
“Last week a very dumb Democrat candidate for president pledged to revoke the tax-exempt status of many churches and religious charities,” Trump said.
“That was after, a few weeks ago, he said, ‘Excuse me we’re going to take your guns away,'” he continued before parodying O’Rourke’s arm gestures. “And I called him right. Remember the flailing arms? Nobody noticed it. I noticed it. The flailer.”
“Beto, in a few short weeks, got rid of guns then got rid of religion,” Trump added. “Those are not two good things in Texas to get rid of.”
Trump’s day also included a tour of a new Louis Vuitton leather workshop in north central Texas and a fundraiser in Fort Worth that, combined with a pre-rally reception in Dallas, brought in $5.5m (£4.3m), according to the Republican National Committee.
As he campaigns for a second term, Trump’s team has tried to focus attention on economic gains over the last three years, including the low unemployment rate. Pressing that message, Trump cut the ribbon at a new production facility for the luxury brand Louis Vuitton in Alvarado with his elder daughter, Ivanka.
Trump joked that the company, which is known for its logoed handbags and luggage, has cost him “a lot of money over the years.” His wife, first lady Melania Trump, has repeatedly been spotted traveling with the brand.
Here’s Jon Sharman’s report.