Donald Trump has used a campaign-style rally in Michigan on Saturday to lash out at Jon Tester over his criticism of ‘Great American Doctor’ Ronny Jackson.
The President branded Tester ‘disgraceful’ for derailing Jackson’s Veterans Affairs nomination and claimed to have information about the Democrat senator that would stop him from being re-elected.
‘What Jon Tester said about this man is a disgrace. I have things I could say about Tester… and if I said them he wouldn’t be elected again,’ Trump told the cheering audience in Washington Township.
Trump branded Tester ‘disgraceful’ for derailing Jackson’s Veterans Affairs nomination and claimed to have information about the Democrat senator that would stop him from being re-elected
Trump earlier called for Tester to resign after he alleged the president’s pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs had a dubious record of prescribing and drunk driving.
The White House doctor withdrew his nomination on Thursday after Tester’s allegations that he was known as ‘the candy man’ for handing out controlled substances on presidential trips.
Ronny Jackson released a statement calling the allegations against him false and fabricated. He said he had withdrawn his nomination to avoid becoming a ‘distraction’ for Trump.
Trump earlier called for Tester (left) to resign after he alleged the president’s pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs (right) had a dubious record of prescribing and drunk driving
Trump also took time in his rally speech to refer to his recent Twitter bromance with Kanye West, saying ‘he gets it’ about African-American voters not always supporting the Democrats.
The President also boasted about his contribution to the recent detente between North and South Korea, which peaked during a summit on Friday which saw the Kim Jong-un and President Moon hold hands.
Trump claimed to have done ‘everything’ to secure better relations and said Moon had acknowledge that in a phone call on Saturday morning.
He also lashed out at the central American migrant caravan, which has now arrived at the US border in preparation for hundreds of people claiming asylum.
Trump threatened to ‘close down the country’ if members of the caravan tried to cross the border, but said the Wall was needed to fully tackle the problem.
The President, dressed in his signature dark suit and long red tie, was seen walking down the steps of Air Force One at Selfridge Air National Guard Base before fist-pumping the air
The President is competing for airtime with the White House correspondents’ dinner, which the President decided to snub because he would rather be with his ‘favorite deplorables’ than stuck in a room ‘with a bunch of fake news liberals who hate me’.
The dinner traditionally sees sitting president’s gently mocked by journalists.
It holds particularly bad memories for Trump, who was roasted by former President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner for leading the so-called ‘birther’ movement, which claimed he was not a genuine US citizen.
Obama said: ‘I know that he’s taken some flack lately—no one is prouder to put this birth-certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to the issues that matter, like: did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And—where are Biggie and Tupac?’
By contrast, Trump felt confident on a big crowd and a friendly reception in Michigan – one of the states in the Upper Midwest that Hillary Clinton counted on in 2016 but saw slip away.
In fact, Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee to capture Michigan since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
The President is competing for airtime with the White House correspondents’ dinner, which Scion Kelly is seen attending alongside Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg
‘Look forward to being in the Great State of Michigan tonight,’ Trump said in a tweet hours before the event.
He also tweeted: ‘Major business expansion and jobs pouring into your State. Auto companies expanding at record pace. Big crowd tonight, will be live on T.V.’
Trump’s tweet expressing his excitement about spending the evening with his ‘favorite deplorables’ quickly racked up thousands or retweets.
During the 2016 campaign, Clinton drew laughs when she told supporters at a private fundraiser that half of Trump supporters could be lumped into a ‘basket of deplorables’ – denouncing them as ‘racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.’
Clinton later did a partial rollback, said she had been ‘grossly generalistic’ and regretted saying the label fit ‘half’ of Trump’s supporters. But she didn’t back down from the general sentiment.
Trump soon had the video running in his campaign ads, and his supporters wore the ‘deplorable’ label as a badge of honor.
Macomb County, the site of Trump’s rally, is among the predominantly white counties known as a base for ‘Reagan Democrats’ – blue-collar voters who abandoned the Democratic Party for Ronald Reagan, but who can be intriguingly movable.
Democrat Barack Obama won the county twice in his White House runs, then Trump carried it by more than 11 percentage points.