President Trump rallied supporters in Tupelo, Miss. Friday night in a bid to shore up Republican support ahead of the state’s tightest gubernatorial race in nearly a generation.
Trump attacked Biden and his son Hunter Biden over their Ukrainian business dealings, accusing the media– including CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo, who Trump referred to as “Fredo” from The Godfather– of covering up potential Biden corruption.
“The press protects him,” Trump said, mocking Biden and calling him “one percent Joe.”
He also slammed the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, a day after the House voted to formalize the impeachment process, calling it a “preposterous hoax.”
House committees have held nearly a dozen depositions of witnesses who have testified behind closed doors about their knowledge of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It’s been alleged, by an anonymous whistleblower, among others, that Trump sought to persuade the foreign leader to open an investigation into former Biden, his son Hunter and Biden business dealings in Ukraine in exchange for military aid to that nation.
“Do you think I would say something improper when I know there are so many people listening?” Trump said.
The president also mocked former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke who announced he was withdrawing from the 2020 presidential race on Friday, calling him a “poor bastard” and a “poor pathetic guy” who “made a total fool of himself” in the race to the White House.
The president opened his remarks at Bancorp South Arena by celebrating the U.S. military raid that led to the death of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying it had “ended his wretched life and punched out his ticket to hell.”
“We have a great military. It was very very depleted when I came into office….but it ain’t depleted anymore,” said Trump, who called Baghdadi “a savage and soulless monster but his reign of terror is over.”
Trump lamented the media’s coverage of the military’s most recent feat, saying that if former President Barack Obama had killed the leader of ISIS, the media would have the story “going on for another seven months.”
“Conan the dog got more publicity than me and I’m very happy about it,” Trump said of the heroic military dog who was injured while pursuing Baghdadi through a tunnel underneath a compound in northwestern Syria.
Hundreds of people had waited to see Trump at the rally to support Republican Tate Reeves, who is finishing his second term as lieutenant governor after previously serving two terms as the elected state treasurer.
Reeves has spent $10.8 million in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant, while his Democratic opponent Jim Hood has spent $5.2 million. Both are receiving financial support from national governors’ groups in their parties.
Reeves has sought to tie Hood as closely as possible to national Democrats, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are deeply unpopular in a state that voted heavily for Trump in the last presidential election.
Hood has not invited national Democratic figures to Mississippi. He’s running campaign commercials that show him with his family, his pickup truck and his hunting dog, Buck. In one, Hood unpacks a rifle and says that “Tate Reeves and his out-of-state corporate masters” are spending money on a “bunch of lies.”
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“You all know me. I’ve worked for you for years. I do my job and I’m a straight shooter,” Hood says. The spot ends with Hood shooting the gun and shattering a bottle.
Hood is also running radio ads designed to appeal to African American voters — one with an endorsement from former U.S. Rep. Mike Espy, who ran a strong but ultimately unsuccessful race for U.S. Senate in Mississippi last year and another that mentions Hood leading the successful 2005 prosecution of reputed Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen in the 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers.
The outreach reflects the importance of black voters to any possible Hood victory. African Americans make up 38% of the state’s population, but some say they’re irritated by Hood’s emphasis on courting rural white voters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a developing story; check back for more updates.
Source : Vandana Rambaran Link