Trump rails against House Democrats, impeachment inquiry during campaign rally: 'It's all a hoax'

Trump rails against House Democrats, impeachment inquiry during campaign rally: 'It's all a hoax'
© Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE spent the outset of a campaign rally Wednesday evening railing against House Democrats, accusing them of pursuing a “deranged, delusional, destructive and hyperpartisan impeachment witch hunt.”

"It’s all a hoax. It’s a scam," Trump told a cheering crowd at the Monroe Civic Center in Louisiana.

"I had a perfect phone call, a totally perfect phone call," he added, referring to his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump also continued his attacks on the credibility of the anonymous whistleblower who raised alarm about the call, accusing the individual of making a “horrible statement” about the call and claiming without evidence that the person had “disappeared” after the White House released a transcript of it.

Trump then asserted Democrats were “rip[ping] the guts out of our country” and suggested they are engaged in an “illegal act.”

ADVERTISEMENT

House Democrats are quickening their inquiry centered on Trump’s call with Zelensky and plan to take their hearings public next week. The White House earlier Wednesday brought on two new aides to handle impeachment messaging.

House committees over the last few days have released a number of transcripts from closed-door depositions with witnesses that have offered insight into the unusual driving role Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCuomo steps into national spotlight with coronavirus fight Hannity offers to help Cuomo in coronavirus response with radio, television shows The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE played in the administration’s policy efforts with respect to Ukraine.

Democrats have also collected a growing body of evidence that the administration held up military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Kiev for investigations that could have benefited Trump politically, including one related to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE.

Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his insistence that there was no quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine.

Instead, he accused Biden of engaging in a quid pro quo, repeating an unsubstantiated allegation pushed by Giuliani and others that the former vice president pressed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit his son, who had business ties to a Ukrainian energy company.

“That’s called a quid pro quo. Not here,” Trump said.

Trump has used his rallies as a platform to countermessage Democrats’ impeachment inquiry since House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike MORE (D-Calif.) formally announced it in late September. Trump took aim at Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Schiff: Remote voting would not compromise national security Connecticut man accused of threatening to kill Schiff MORE (D-Calif.), central players in the impeachment inquiry, Wednesday evening, deriding them as “corrupt.”

In normal fashion, Trump also threw barbs at the media, gesturing to reporters covering the rally in the back of the arena, as well as Democratic congressional leaders and candidates.

"Democrats are becoming increasingly totalitarian," Trump said, accusing them of “staging show trials” and “trying to overthrow American democracy to impose their socialist agenda.”

At one point, Trump threatened economic demise if a Democrat is elected in 2020.

“If the Democrats get back in, you will have a depression the likes of which you haven’t seen before,” Trump said.

Trump made a brief mention of his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus MORE, dredging up his favorite nickname from the last presidential election cycle, "Crooked Hillary," a remark that brought chants of “lock her up” from the crowd. He also referred to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas” to highlight the controversy surrounding her past claims of Native American heritage.

Wednesday’s rally comes the day after Democrats won off-year elections in Virginia and Kentucky, which could be a sign of trouble for Trump and the Republican Party.

Democrats on Tuesday regained control of the Virginia Legislature for the first time since 1994. Meanwhile, Democrat Andy Beshear narrowly defeated incumbent Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) one day after Trump traveled to the Bluegrass State to rally for him. However, Bevin has asked for a recanvass of vote totals.

Trump was in Louisiana rallying for Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, who is running to unseat the state’s incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The runoff election will take place on Nov. 16.

Trump branded Bel Edwards a “radical liberal Democrat” and urged voters to support Rispone, who joined him on stage Wednesday evening.

Wednesday marked the third campaign rally Trump has held in a less than a week, following appearances in Mississippi and Kentucky on Friday and Monday, respectively.