President Trump blasts Democrats, James Comey and the media in campaign-style rally
Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, Mich.) — President Trump blasted Democrats, James Comey and the media in a campaign-style rally in Michigan Saturday night.
The president, who snubbed the White House Correspondents’ dinner for the second year in a row in favor a rally, took shots elected officials from California to Michigan, the former FBI director, and journalists who cover his administration.
He told the crowd in Washington, Michigan, that California Democrats — like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Brown — are soft on crime and immigration, and don’t support the military.
“The Democrats don’t care about our military … our borders … I don’t think they care about crime,” he said.
The president urged Republicans to vote in the midterm elections.
“Nancy Pelosi and her gang,” Trump said. “They’ve got to be voted out of office.”
President Trump also took a shot at one of his favorite targets: James Comey. He fired the FBI director, who recently released a book in which he compared the president to a mafia boss who demanded loyalty.
Comey, who has been interviewed by several media outlets, including ABC News, said Trump asked him to investigate the so-called dossier — the report by a British intelligence officer that contains raw, unverified material about Donald Trump — to “prove that it didn’t happen.”
“How about this guy Comey?” he said.
“He said the other night, the fake dirty dossier,” Trump continued. “He said on Fox … very strongly, I didn’t know it was paid for by the Democrats and Hillary Clinton!”
Trump also said he wanted no part of the journalists’ dinner in Washington, D.C.
“You may have heard I was invited to another event, the White House Correspondents’ dinner, but I’d much rather be in Washington, Michigan, than in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
He later criticized the media for their coverage of the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“Sources don’t exist,” he said. “These people are very dishonest people, many of them. Fake news. Very dishonest.”
The president’s absence at the White House Correspondents’ dinner marks the second year in a row that he has decided to skip it in favor of a campaign-style rally in a state key to his electoral victory in 2016.
President Trump tweeted this morning that he was looking forward to being in the “great state of Michigan” and touted what he called “major business expansion” there.
The rally will be Trump’s 11th in Michigan since the beginning of the 2016 presidential race, according to his campaign, and the fifth in the Detroit area.
“While the fake news media will be celebrating themselves with the denizens of Washington society in the swamp that evening, President Trump will be in a completely different Washington, celebrating our national economic revival with patriotic Americans,” said Micahel Glassner, chief operating officer for the Trump campaign, in a statement announcing the event, referring to Washington, Michigan.
The rally began at 7 p.m. ET, the same time as the correspondent’s dinner, an annual gathering arranged by the association representing the White House press corps.
Last year, Trump mocked the annual Washington gathering of reporters as “boring” during a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,” Trump told the crowd at last year’s rally, held roughly three months after he was sworn into office.
Both Pennsylvania and Michigan are key states that had backed Democrats for decades prior to Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Trump won Michigan in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, the first time a Republican had captured the state on the presidential level since George H. W. Bush in 1988.
Saturday’s rally was held about an hour north of Detroit in Macomb County, a swing area won by President Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, but swung in Trump’s favor in his defeat of Clinton.
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