Five highlights from Trump’s raucous Alabama rally

Five highlights from Trump’s raucous Alabama rally
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE targeted a slew of foes during a campaign rally Friday night for Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeGOP sen: ‘Just a fact’ Moore will face ethics complaint if elected Trevor Noah: Trump must be ‘morally degenerate’ to back Roy Moore Moore gets boost from Bannon in final days of campaign MORE (R-Ala.), touching on health care, the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula and NFL players' protests during the national anthem.

Trump escalated his war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him "Little Rocket Man," and taking several swipes at Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE over the Arizona Republican's "terrible" decision to oppose the latest ObamaCare repeal bill.

Here are five highlights from Trump's campaign speech: 

Ratcheting up criticism of North Korea's 'Little Rocket Man'

Trump continued to escalate his verbal battle with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, modifying his nickname for Kim as "Little Rocket Man."

"This shouldn't be handled now. But I'm going to handle it because we have to handle it. Little Rocket Man. We're going to do it. Because we really have no choice choice. We really have no choice," Trump said.

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The president also blasted past administrations' handling of North Korea. 

"We can't have mad men out there shooting rockets all over the place," Trump said.

"He should have been handled a long time ago by Clinton. I won't mentioned the Republicans, by Obama," he continued, referring to past presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMueller’s probe doesn't end with a bang, but with a whimper Mark Mellman: History’s judgment Congress should massively ramp up funding for the NIH MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE

The president's comments come after Kim issued a scathing statement in response to Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly this week, in which Trump referred to Kim as "Rocket Man." Kim later called the president a "mentally deranged dotard." 

North Korea's foreign minister also threatened to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean as a response to Trump's U.N. address. 

Swiping at John McCain for ‘terrible’ health-care decision

The president also took aim at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the rally, just hours after the senator announced he would vote "no" on the latest Senate GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

Trump called McCain's decision "totally unexpected" and "terrible."

"John McCain, if you look at his last campaign, it was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace," Trump said. "So he decided to do something different, and that's fine."

The president swiped at McCain after the Arizona Republican announced his opposition to a repeal measure sponsored by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTax bill could fuel push for Medicare, Social Security cuts Collins to vote for GOP tax plan Overnight Tech: Lawmakers want answers on Uber breach | Justices divided in patent case | Tech makes plea for net neutrality on Cyber Monday MORE (R-La.), potentially dooming the repeal effort.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," McCain said in a statement.

Senate GOP leaders have to get 50 senators for Vice President Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote for the repeal bill before a Sept. 30 deadline expires to pass the measure with majority support.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) has already voiced his opposition to the bill, and Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine) has said she is leaning against the legislation.

McCain and Collins joined with Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Week ahead: Trump expected to shrink two national monuments GOP on verge of opening Arctic refuge to drilling MORE (R-Alaska) in voting against Senate Republicans' scaled-down ObamaCare repeal legislation in July.

Blasting NFL players who protest the national anthem

Trump's campaign rally Friday night covered issues beyond legislative and international affairs.

The president slammed NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick, saying NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,' " Trump said.

"Luther and I and everyone in this arena tonight are unified by the same great American values. We're proud of our country. We respect our flag."

The president's comments drew backlash from the NFL community, with commissioner Roger Goodell saying Saturday that Trump’s “divisive comments” show “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

The head of the NFL Players Association responded as well, saying the union “will never back down” from supporting players' right to protest.

'See through' border wall

Trump revealed at the Alabama rally that his proposed southern border wall would be a "see through" barrier that would allow people see who is on the other side. 

"The wall is happening. In fact, you probably saw, you know, we have a wall up there now, and re-renovating it already. It's being made pristine, perfect, just as good as new, though we may go a little higher than that, but that's OK. And we are building samples of a new wall. You know, it has to be a see-through wall," the president told the crowd at the rally. 

"If you can't [see] through it, you don't know who's on the other side. Let's say we build a pre-cast concrete wall and now we have people on the other side," he continued. "It's going to stop drugs. It's going to stop a lot of bad things."

The president's comments come after he struck a deal with Democrats on the debt ceiling earlier this month, indicating that it would not include funding for a border wall.

The proposed border wall was a cornerstone of Trump's presidential campaign. 

While Trump has insisted Mexico would pay for the wall, the country's President Enrique Peña Nieto had repeatedly said his country would not pay for the wall's construction. 

Congress has not yet fully funded the wall's construction. 

Last-minute pitch for ‘Big’ Luther Strange

While the president devoted much of his speech to other issues, his primary reason for traveling to Alabama on Friday was to make a last-minute pitch for Strange over opponent Roy Moore ahead of Alabama's closely watched Senate GOP runoff on Tuesday.

"I have to say this, and you understand this, and just look at the polls. Luther will definitely win," Trump said. "Roy [Moore] has a very good chance of not winning in the general election."

However, Trump revealed he told Strange, who is a GOP establishment favorite, that he would support whichever candidate wins the primary runoff. 

"I told Luther, I have to say this, if his opponent wins, I'm going to be here campaigning like hell for him," Trump said.
 
Trump's endorsement of Strange has driven a wedge between the president and some key allies in and out of his administration, who have backed Moore.
 
The president's own Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson broke with the president on Friday to publicly back Moore, who is seen as an anti-establishment favorite. Strange on the other hand, received the endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.).
 
"I might have made a mistake. And I'll be honest, I might have made a mistake, because, you know, here's a story, if Luther doesn't win, there's a very short period of time. They're going to say, 'Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line,' " Trump said.