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Trump rallies supporters as he becomes third president to be impeached

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE was standing on stage at a campaign rally in Michigan on Wednesday bragging about establishing a Space Force when the House voted to impeach him for abuse of power. 

He was recounting the “incredible evening” when he won the 2016 presidential election against Democrat opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Trump fights for battleground Arizona Biden leads Trump by 12 in new national poll MORE and mocking his potential 2020 rivals in familiar fashion when House Democrats impeached him for obstruction of Congress.

Then the president turned his attention to impeachment, casting Wednesday night’s historic vote as an attack on his supporters and accusing Democrats of a “perversion.” 

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“With today’s illegal, unconstitutional and partisan impeachment, the do nothing Democrats… are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter,” he told a raucous crowd. “This lawless, partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the Democrat Party.” 

Trump interrupted his own remarks at 9 p.m. to inform the audience that Republicans had remained unified in voting against the articles of impeachment.

“The Republican Party has never been affronted, but they have never been so united as they are now,” he said.

The president predicted that the impeachment vote would have lasting consequences for Democrats, asserting their “depraved actions” would amount to “an eternal mark of shame.” 

He took personal jabs at key figures in the impeachment proceedings. He chastised Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump should accept election results 'like a man' The spectre of pension failures haunts this election Microsoft: Iranian hacking group targeting attendees of major international security conferences MORE (D-Calif.) – claiming Americans would “vote her the hell out of office” –  and mocked the appearance of House Intelligence Committee Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCIA impeachment whistleblower forced to live under surveillance due to threats: report In our 'Bizarro World' of 2020 politics, the left takes a wrong turn Greenwald slams Schiff over Biden emails on Fox MORE (D-Calif.). 

“He’s not exactly the best looking guy we have ever seen,” Trump said. 

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And he showed no remorse for his actions toward Ukraine’s president that touched off House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, reiterating that he did nothing wrong and accusing Democrats of a political exercise. 

Trump defended in detail a rough transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during which he asked Kyiv to “look into” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE and his son’s dealings in Ukraine, and noted that Zelensky has said he felt no pressure on the call.  

“They don’t even have a crime. This is the first impeachment where there’s no crime,” Trump said. 

Trump’s words marked his first public, on-camera remarks on impeachment since the House began a highly partisan debate on articles written by House Democrat leaders accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress him on Wednesday. 

The president took the stage just after 8 p.m. as debate wound down on two articles of impeachment against the 45th president of the United States. 

At almost the same moment the House began voting on the first article of impeachment, Trump declared to his supporters that “it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached.”

The timing made for a remarkable split-screen moment.

Trump rally soundtrack standards like Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and The Village People’s “Macho Man” blared from the arena as Republicans jeered House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer lays out ambitious Democratic agenda for 2021, with health care at top Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief MORE (D-Md.) as he spoke of duty and the limits of party loyalty.

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWashington, Oregon, Nevada join California plan to review COVID-19 vaccine CNN host presses Trump spokesman: 'Do you think the pandemic has ended?' Swastika painted on Biden-Harris campaign sign in Iowa MORE, who had been campaigning earlier in the day in Michigan, took the stage as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (R-Calif.) offered a final defense of the president before the House moved to votes.

Trump took the stage fully aware that was about to become just the third U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. But he mostly avoided the topic as his fate was sealed in the nation’s capital, instead boasting about the economy, bashing a lone protester and riffing on the size of his rally crowds. 

In many ways, the rally resembled many of Trump’s past campaign appearances. He admonished the media for its coverage of his White House, touted his efforts to cut “deals” that benefit the American people, and emphasized his pledge to rebuild the U.S. military. 

Trump took a victory lap over the negotiated deal on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and his “phase one” trade agreement with China. 

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Trump also blasted the FBI investigation of his campaign’s contacts with Russia in 2016, seemingly linking it to the impeachment inquiry and claiming Democrats “shouldn't even be able to have an impeachment, because it was based on dishonesty.”  

He seized on a recent Justice Department inspector general report criticizing the bureau for an application to wiretap former campaign adviser Carter Page and bragged about “firing” former FBI James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden's polling lead over Trump looks more comfortable than Clinton's Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report MORE’s “ass.” 

Still, Wednesday's rally seemed especially bitter, as Trump lambasted his Democratic foes following the historic impeachment vote.  

The House approved articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine and obstructing the congressional inquiry in a party line vote, with no Republican support and three Democrat defections. The first article passed by a vote of 230-197, while the second article passed 229-198, with Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii) voting present each time.

Trump in a July 25 call with Zelensky asked Kyiv to “look into” a debunked theory about 2016 election interference and the Bidens; House Democrats, equipped with other witness testimony, have accused Trump of abusing his office to pressure a foreign country to launch investigations that could benefit his reelection campaign.

Trump’s rally took place in the home district of Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashEnergized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones MORE, a former Republican who became an independent over the summer and voiced support for impeachment on the House floor earlier Wednesday. 

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The White House said in a statement that Trump spent the day working, though he only had one briefing on his public schedule and was active on Twitter throughout the morning and early afternoon firing off personal attacks against Pelosi and all caps missives decrying the impending vote. 

He has spent months angrily denouncing the entire proceeding as a politically-motivated “sham” and a “hoax,” a tirade that culminated Tuesday in a scathing letter to Pelosi that accused Democrats of “subverting American democracy” and insisted history would vindicate him in language that at times mirrored Trump’s Twitter feed.

Still, White House aides have done their best to argue Trump is unfazed by the black mark that was about to be tattooed onto his legacy. 

“Nobody’s fine with somebody who should not be impeached… being impeached, but his mood is fine in that today is just kind of an add water and stir kind of day,” White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayMelania Trump focuses on coronavirus in return to campaign trail McEnany appears on Fox in 'personal capacity' as Trump campaign adviser Melania Trump to hit campaign trail in Pennsylvania MORE told reporters before Wednesday’s vote. 

Trump has at times shown an awareness of the historical weight Wednesday’s vote carried for his presidency, saying he doesn’t like being associated with a “dirty word.”

The president on Wednesday was bullish, however, that history might look more kindly on his case than that of former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump fights for battleground Arizona The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Trump expected to bring Hunter Biden's former business partner to debate MORE or Andrew Johnson, or even Richard Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached. 

“I don’t know about you, but I’m having a good time,” he added. “It’s crazy.”

Updated: 10:36 p.m.