‘Pandemic is God testing me’: Trump describes his conversations with the Lord before branding Biden a ‘jerk’ and Dems ‘fascists’ during Minnesota campaign stop – as its governor says POTUS wanted to deliver speech where George Floyd died
- Donald Trump holds mini-rally in Mankato, Minnesota, as part of lightning campaign swing designed to counter-program the Democratic National Convention
- Uses speech to around 250 supporters to label Democrats ‘fascists’ and ‘radicals’ who want to ‘erase our borders, eliminate our police, vilify our heroes’ and ‘take away our energy’
- He mockingly described a conversation with God joking that the coronavirus was a punishment on him for taking credit for building the ‘greatest economy’
- ‘I said: “Did I do a great job God? I’m the only one that can do it.”‘ Trump then wagged his index finger, saying God told him: ‘You shouldn’t say that. Now we’re going to have you do it again.”‘
- Minnesota’s Democratic governor Tim Walz said that the White House had wanted to hold speech where George Floyd died in Minneapolis
- White House disputed his version of events, saying he would not have delivered a speech at memorial to dead black man whose death prompted protests and riots
President Donald Trump let loose a stream of vitriolic insults and take-downs of leading Democratic politicians whom he accused of ‘coddling’ criminals Monday – labeling his opponents both ‘fascists’ and ‘radicals.’
He also described the economic impact of the coronavirus as ‘God testing me,’ and joked that it might have been a punishment for him building ‘the greatest economy’ before it happened.
‘Joe Biden is the puppet of left-wing extremists trying to erase our borders, eliminate our police … vilify our heroes, take away our energy,’ Trump told a crowd of a few hundred supporters in an airport hangar in Mankato, Minnesota.
‘Fascists,’ he called them. ‘They are fascists.’ Then Trump hedged slightly, saying ‘some of them’ were fascists. ‘Not all of them.’
The mini-rally was the second stop on a quickfire campaign swing through Minnesota and Wisconsin intended to counter-program the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, which had been scheduled to take place in Milwaukee before
With Democrat Joe Biden leading him in a slew of polls as the former vice president kicks off his nominating convention, Trump said Democrats would ‘destroy our Second Amendment’ and ‘attack our right to life,’ saying’I am the only thing standing in the way of your Second Amendment.’
New attack: Donald Trump accused Democrats of being ‘left-wing fascists,’ then hedged, ‘some of them’ in a fiery speech in Minnesota
Rally mode: Donald Trump delivered a sustained attack on Democrats and Joe Biden at a hangar at Mankato regional airport in Minnesota
Crowd pleaser: Donald Trump brought a USA camp to the podium for the speech in front of Air Force One
Brief journey: Donald Trump flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Mankato, where he was shadowed by the Beast – the presidential limousine – as he walked a short distance to the hangar to speak
Crowd: Few masks were on show as Donald Trump’s supporters gathered to watch his mini-rally speech on the second stop of his rapid campaign swing to Minnesota and Wisconsin
Economic message: The president spoke about rebuilding the shattered economy as a challenge personally given to him by God, impersonating a conversation with God about it
Themed masks: One section of the crowd featured more people in masks branded for the president
He called out what he termed ‘left-wing fascists,’ not long after delivering his ‘law and order’ message at Minneapolis-St.Paul Airport with business owners he said had their dreams ‘burned to the ground’ during rioting in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
‘We’re going left wing all the way,’ Trump warned.
Trump said he was rebuilding the economy and promised a ‘more than v-shaped’ recover
At one point, Trump brought up what he described as a conversation with God, suggesting that the impact of the pandemic on the economy was divinely ordained.
‘We built the greatest economy in the history of the world and now I have to do it again. Now you know what that is? That’s God testing me,’ he said.
‘He said, “you know, you did it once” and I said: “Did I do a great job God? I’m the only one that can do it.”‘
Trump then wagged his index finger in mock impersonation of God reproaching him, saying God told him: ‘You shouldn’t say that. Now we’re going to have you do it again.”‘
The audience laughed then Trump said he told God: ‘”OK, I agree, you got me.” But I did it once and now I’m doing it again.’
Trump once again accused Democrats of seeking to ‘rig’ the election through the use of mail-in ballots.
He also called Joe Biden a ‘jerk’ in a riff apparently on an interview with Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who Republicans accused of manipulating Biden after she said ‘we were able to significantly push Joe Biden to do things that he hadn’t signed on to before, so he is movable, he is listening.’
Trump said: ‘And what about the Congresswoman that I watched at the weekend?
”’I have total control over Biden, he’ll do anything I say…I have total control’…what she’s saying is, ‘I have total control over this jerk,’ he said.
”He’ll do whatever the hell I want.”
He and didn’t go much easier on Sen. Kamala Harris or Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
‘Does she love our country?’ he asked of the longtime California lawmaker,and called the vice-presidential candidate ‘another beauty,’ accusing her of being the most liberal senator.
Supporters: Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff (second left) , is part of the campaign swing. Trump highlighted Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO (center) who is the Republican campaign chairman in Minnesota, during his speech
Here for the fans: Donald Trump walked down Air Force One – the smaller military version of a Boeing 757 used for shorter runways – with a USA cap in hand at Mankato
Show of enthusiasm: Donald Trump was saluted by his supporters at the mini-rally in an aircraft hangar
Campaign slogan: Donald Trump went back to Air Force One past a truck emblazoned with his campaign slogan
Pro-Trump: One supporter was wearing a t-shirt from a pro-Trump apparel maker
The crowd of supporters, some masked, some not at the outdoor venue, booed when Trump mentioned Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the ‘squad’ member who recently won her primary.
‘This woman is crazy. She’s a horrible woman who hates our country,’ Trump said.
Earlier, Trump stopped in Minneapolis to hold an event with small business owners whose stores were damaged after violent protests and riots after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May in police custody.
‘I´m here to help you. We will bring back law and order to your community. We will bring it back and we will bring it back immediately,’ Trump told supporters on the airport tarmac. He did not venture to the scene of the protests or the memorial to Floyd in the city.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the White House had been interested in Trump visiting the makeshift memorial in Minneapolis on the site of Floyd´s fatal encounter with police on Memorial Day.
‘I spent this weekend trying to tell the White House why it was a really bad idea to have President Trump go down and stand at the George Floyd memorial and use (it) as a backdrop for his campaign and ignite the pain and the anguish that we´re feeling in Minnesota,’ the governor said Monday during a virtual breakfast for the state´s delegation to the Democratic National Convention.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows disputed Walz’ statement.
‘Gov. Walz never reached out to me, nor the president, nor the campaign so perhaps he misspoke,’ Meadows told The Associated Press. We´ve communicated before, so he has our contact information.’
On the tarmac in Minneapolis, Trump addressed about 150 supporters – half of them wearing masks – who chanted ‘Four More Years.’ Trump told them that the Democrats will be taking away the constitutional amendment to bear arms.
Democrats want to elevate their ‘left-wing war on cops,’ Trump asserted.
‘Their sympathies lie with lawbreakers and with criminals.’
Trump also was set to visit Wisconsin – the official host state of the entirely virtual Democratic National Convention – to launch a week of travel and political events aiming to blunt the customary polling ‘bounce’ that a candidate gets during their convention week. The president trails in both public and private surveys less than three months before Election Day.
‘We´re going to be working very hard,’ Trump said before leaving the White House. ‘We have to. We´re getting down to final crunch. We want to be there.’
Marking his heaviest week of political travel since the coronavirus put a stop to his campaign schedule and imperiled his reelection chances, Trump was expected to sharply criticize Biden’s economic policies in the Upper Midwest battleground states.
On Tuesday, Trump will take on Biden over his immigration policies during a visit to Yuma, Arizona. He is also set to travel to Pennsylvania, the state of Biden’s birth, on Thursday, ahead of the Democrat’s acceptance speech.
Trump’s aggressive push comes as his path to reelection has narrowed since the coronavirus hit, and he’s been forced to play defense in the states that carried him to reelection four years ago. Minnesota, viewed as a GOP pickup opportunity a year ago, now appears to be slipping out of reach, Republicans say.
Wisconsin, a state that had voted for Democratic presidents for decades until Trump’s 2016 victory, has emerged as one of the toughest battlegrounds of 2020. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday plans to visit the southern part of the state.
Trump’s campaign views the state’s whiter, older demographics to be more favorable than Michigan, which Trump also won four years ago but is increasingly seen as a likely Democratic pick-up.
Trump’s campaign is seizing on Biden’s decision not to travel to Milwaukee for the convention, citing the pandemic, as the Democrat `effectively abandoning’ Wisconsin. The GOP is surging Republican surrogates to the state this week in a show of force, including Pence and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.
Democrats insist they are still contesting the state, where they are devoting resources to television ads and field organizing, but that Biden is just being cautious and curtailing non-essential travel due to the coronavirus.
Democratic candidate: Donald Trump described Joe Biden as the puppet of ‘left-wing extremists’
Killing: The death of George Floyd sparked protests and then riots in Minneapolis and around the country. The Minnesota governor accused the White House of planning a speech where he died
Supposed venue: Minnesota governor Tim Walz said the White House had wanted to hold a Trump speech at the memorial to George Floyd where he was killed. The White House chief of staff disputed his account
He and Sen. Kamala Harris, his newly announced running mate, are set to deliver their convention addresses from Biden’s home state of Delaware this week, mitigating the need for air travel.
The Republican Party and Trump campaign are also ramping up their efforts as Biden takes center stage. Trump Victory, the campaign’s joint field program with the Republican National Committee, will be holding over 2,500 events across the country, the RNC said. They also plan to knock on more than 1 million doors and call millions more voters during the week of the Democratic convention.
The events this week come as Trump’s campaign is looking to redefine what the president’s political events look like in the age of the coronavirus. Trump is set to address hundreds of supporters at airports in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Mankato, Minnesota, two months after he was forced to abandon plans to resume holding rallies amid a resurgence in cases.
‘We’d love to have those rallies, but I guess you just can’t do that, you’re not allowed to do that now,’ Trump said in Mankato, saying he has embraced ‘airport hops’ as an alternative.
In Minnesota, there is a statewide mask mandate for public indoor spaces, and capacity must be limited so safe social distancing can be maintained. Many Trump supporters at both events in the state were not wearing masks during Trump’s remarks. In Wisconsin, supporters are required to be masked, but there is no statewide limit on how many people can gather.
Trump’s campaign, meanwhile is trying to set historically high expectations for the Biden campaign.
‘You better believe that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to get somewhere between a 8 and 10 point bump after this convention they put on,’ Gidley told Fox on Monday, ‘solely because the media just fawns all over them.’
Donald Trump slams Michelle Obama for TAPING her keynote speech on opening night of Democratic National Convention
President Donald Trump criticized Michelle Obama Monday, accusing her of pre-taping her speech for Joe Biden kicks off his political convention.
The former first lady will be the keynote speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, taking place virtually instead of in person for the first time.
Trump brought up the format as he greeted a few hundred supporters in Minneapolis, where he touted his own ‘law and order’ campaign and hosted small businesses owners who said their dreams got torched amid looting amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
He spoke at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport on the first stop of a series of speeches beside Air Force One in Minnesota and Wisconsin intended to counter-program the Democrats’ convention, which had been scheduled to take place in Milwaukee but which is now entirely virtual.
Attack on first lady: Donald Trump used a campaign stop at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport to slam Michelle Obama for recording her tape at the Democratic National Convention
Mini-rally: Donald Trump was greeted by a limited number of supporters at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on a campaign swing intended to counter-program the Democratic National Convention
Supporter: Trump addressed a small crowd at the airport on the first stop of his campaign swing through Minnesota and Wisconsin
Greeting: Supporters salute Trump as he ends a mini-rally at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
Brief stop: Donald Trump re-boards Air Force One after speaking to a small number of supporters at Minneapolis-St.Paul airport
‘These are all taped speeches. Michelle Obama, her speech is taped,’ he said.
‘Why don’t they tell me that. I’ll tape my speech,’ said Trump. He quipped he would do multiple takes to get it right. ‘I’ll make sure it’s perfecto. I’ll make every word perfect,’ he said.
‘You want to go to a snooze. When you hear a speech is taped it’s like there’s nothing very exciting about it right?’ Trump said.
Trump brought up his own campaign surrogate – introducing White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Although she is a taxpayer employee, it is allowable for government officials to campaign on personal time in certain circumstances.
‘It is such an honor to work for the law and order president,’ McEnany said in brief remarks.
First Lady Melania Trump had to fend off negative press coverage during her own convention speech after it was revealed passages were lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 effort.
Trump then called up a series of business owners to talk about how they suffered when their businesses were torched, including a pharmacy owner whose business burned.
‘At the Democrat convention we will not hear a word about these innocent victims or the left-wing violence that’s taking place,’ Trump said.
Trump called out ‘radical left anarchists’ he held responsible.
He also attacked Biden’s new running mate Kamala Harris.
‘She’s the one who finished so badly,’ Trump said. ‘She was embarrassed she ran out of town,’ he said of her time in the Democratic presidential primary.
‘She went down like a rock in water,’ Trump said.
Donald Trump calls Ilhan Omar a ‘horrible woman who hates our country’ then accuses her of winning Democratic primary by fraud
President Donald Trump went after ‘squad’ member, Rep. Ilhan Omar, in her home state of Minnesota, telling supporters she’s a ‘horrible woman who hates our country.’
Trump asked his mostly mask-less crowd gathered Mankato how Omar defeated a Democratic primary opponent during voting last week – joking that she probably cheated.
‘I mean I hear the boos. How the hell did she win the primary?’ he asked the crowd. ‘How the hell did she win? This woman is crazy. She’s a horrible woman who hates our country.’
President Donald Trump lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar in her home state of Minnesota Monday, calling her ‘crazy’ and a ‘horrible woman who hates our country’ and joking that she probably cheated to win her primary last week
Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the four so-called ‘squad’ members, speaks on primary election day in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Trump also suggested that refugees, like Omar, were a problem for Minnesotans and bragged about shutting down resettlement programs during the pandemic
In the crowd someone shouted to the president, ‘mail-in vote.’
‘Yeah, mail-in vote. We’ll have to check. Let’s check the mail-in vote,’ Trump said with a laugh.
‘No seriously. How does a woman who hates our country, who says nothing but bad things about our country and Israel and other of our allies. How does this woman win? Where are the people that would vote for her?’ Trump continued.
The president ripped Omar for criticism she made of the Minneapolis Police Department – who were under global scrutiny after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.
‘The Minneapolis Police Department is rotten to the root, and so when we dismantle it, we get rid of that cancer, and we allow for something beautiful to rise, and that reimagining allows us to figure out what public safety looks like for us,’ the first-term Democrat said in June.
Trump lumped in presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with Omar, because he didn’t disavow her comments.
‘This is what’s going to be running the country,’ Trump told supporters.
The president made two campaign stops on Monday to coincide with the opening day of this year’s virtual Democratic National Convention.
He stopped in Minnesota – a state he lost in 2016 – before heading to Wisconsin, which was supposed to host the Democrats’ convention.
Omar wasn’t the only female Democrat that Trump picked on during his stop in Minnesota.
He first made what was likely a dig at Omar’s ‘squad’-mate, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as Trump ridiculed the ‘Green New Deal,’ saying it had been written by a ‘foolish child.’
He talked at length about stopping refugee resettlement in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting to his audience that he knew refugees – like Omar, who was born in Somalia – were a problem. ‘I know all about your hot spots,’ Trump said.
And then he echoed something he had said about Omar, but applied it to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he’s been in a stand-off with for months.
‘Does she love our country?’ Trump asked. ‘I don’t think so.’
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