Five things to watch at Trump's Michigan rally

President TrumpDonald John TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey MORE will hold a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday night, his first campaign-style event since special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE concluded his 22-month Russia investigation.

The president is likely to continue his victory lap following the release of a four-page summary from Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSessions: It's time to accept the results of the Mueller report and move on George Conway lashes out at 'Deranged Donald' on Twitter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump tells House investigators 'no' MORE on Sunday that said the Mueller report did not find that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. Barr also said Mueller did "'not conclude that the President committed a crime'" but also did not exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice.


Here are five things to watch at the rally, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. EDT.

Does Trump sound like he is out for revenge?

The president has been exuberant in the wake of Barr's summary, declaring the report a "complete exoneration."

Trump is expected to use Thursday's rally to turn Mueller's core conclusions into a political cudgel and whip his supporters into a frenzy as he targets those behind the investigation for retribution.

"We can never allow this treasonous — these treasonous acts to happen to another president," Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night. "This was an attempted takeover of our government, of our country, an illegal takeover."

In the same interview, he suggested House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOn The Money: Treasury misses second Dem deadline on Trump tax returns | Waters renews calls for impeachment | Dem wants Fed pick to apologize for calling Ohio cities 'armpits of America' | Stocks reach record high after long recovery On The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) should be "forced out of office," slammed former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeySessions: It's time to accept the results of the Mueller report and move on Davis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Sarah Sanders is entitled to her opinions, but not her own facts MORE and former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan: Imagine if we had a president 'who did not have to obstruct justice' How I learned to love the witch hunt 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE for their early involvement in the Russia investigation, and said he "absolutely" plans to declassify and release surveillance applications related to the probe.

Trump may even go after his 2016 Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes Biden's announcement was a general election message, says political analyst MORE. Such a move would draw certain pushback from Democrats and ethics officials who have warned against politically motivated investigations, but would appeal to his supporters, who tend to break into chants of "lock her up."

How does he approach the 2020 election?

Thursday's rally will be Trump's first since mid-February. Since then, the field of 2020 Democratic candidates has expanded, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersElection analyst says Biden could face uphill battle attracting small-dollar donors Gillibrand 'not worried' about being 'discounted' in 2020 race Biden's sloppy launch may cost him MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeCory Booker releases 10 years of tax returns Buttigieg gets first congressional endorsement O'Rourke to give commencement address at Texas's oldest black college MORE (D-Texas) jumping into the race.


The president has used past rallies to belittle Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenColbert links large 2020 Dem field to Avengers: 'A group of every available person in the universe' Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary Sanders dominates, Buttigieg surges in 2020 social media battle MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker fundraises off Biden announcement The symbol of 'Wakanda' and black political vision The Hill's Morning Report - Trump tells House investigators 'no' MORE (D-N.J.), among other 2020 contenders. He'll likely utilize the Michigan event to define his potential opponents with derisive nicknames, highlight their personal gaffes and label progressive policies as "socialist."

In addition, the president may seek to get a head start on appealing directly to voters about his 2020 candidacy, as Michigan will be critical to his reelection bid. He won the state in 2016 by roughly 11,000 votes.

Trump, who rarely misses a chance to credit his administration with positive economic developments, will likely harp on low unemployment and recent investments by Fiat Chrysler, Ford and others in the state to make the case that voters would benefit from another four years of his presidency.

Does he allude to pardons?

Trump has insisted he's not focused on whether to issue pardons to his former associates implicated in the special counsel's investigation, but has repeatedly expressed sympathy for the likes of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John Manafort21 questions for Robert Mueller Why did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? Manafort transferred to minimum security federal prison MORE.

"It's a very, very sad thing," Trump told Hannity on Wednesday. "I don't want to talk about pardons now but I can say, it’s so sad on so many levels."

The White House and Trump's attorneys downplayed possible pardons as the special counsel's probe played out, but now that it's reached its conclusion the president could be more publicly receptive to the idea.

Conservatives have advocated for Trump to pardon Flynn, who pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI, and former Trump campaign aide George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosGeorge Conway lashes out at 'Deranged Donald' on Twitter Trump suggests one day after announcement of state visit that UK spied on his campaign Poll: Nearly half of Republicans say no one on Trump campaign committed a crime MORE said this week his lawyers have asked the president for a pardon.

While Trump is unlikely to declare his intentions Thursday, he could further signal that he's considering the idea.

Does he seize on health care?

Trump caught many Republicans off guard this week when he declared the GOP would be known as "the party of great health care."

The president clearly sees the issue as a political winner. He sought to assure voters ahead of the 2018 midterms that Republicans would protect those with pre-existing conditions, and the Justice Department is backing a legal effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.

But it's also a potentially perilous point of focus, as Democrats campaigned during the 2018 midterms and ultimately picked up 40 seats in the House, largely by hammering Republicans over their votes to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Trump has frequently railed against his predecessor's signature legislation, but he has not offered an alternative other than to promise "a plan that is far better than ObamaCare."

Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Pence, said Wednesday evening that Trump will propose a health care plan to Congress sometime this year. He did not offer many specifics, leaving open the possibility Trump may make some promises of his own on Thursday.

Will Trump have any surprises?

The president's campaign rallies are often unpredictable events, with the president liable to go off script, make news with off-the-cuff remarks or weigh in on seemingly unrelated topics.

He might bring guests up on stage to sing his praises, or conversely could create fresh headlines by once again attacking the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's sloppy launch may cost him Cindy McCain weighs in on Biden report: 'No intention' of getting involved in race Why did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? MORE (R-Ariz.) or an unexpected target.

The length of Trump's rally could itself exceed expectations. While Trump is scheduled to depart the venue at 8 p.m. for a flight to Florida, his campaign events tend to run long.

Earlier this month, Trump spoke for roughly two hours at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Even though it was not a traditional campaign event, the extended free-wheeling remarks underscored the president's penchant to surprise when he takes the stage in a room full of supporters.