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Trump singles out Dem senators in NRA speech

Trump singles out Dem senators in NRA speech
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President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE took aim at Democratic senators on Friday, specifically singling out three lawmakers up for reelection this year, as impediments to his agenda.

During remarks in Dallas at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum, Trump reiterated his attacks on Montana Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) Tester50-50 Senate opens the door to solutions outlasting Trump's moment of violence Biden VA pick faces 'steep learning curve' at massive agency Coronavirus relief deal hinges on talks over Fed lending powers MORE, the top Democrat on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, who publicized damaging allegations against Trump's former pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. 

And he targeted two other Democratic senators up for reelection in states he won — Sens. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonGeorgia Senate races shatter spending records Georgia voters flood polls ahead of crucial Senate contests The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (Fla.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyCapitol Police officer hailed as hero for drawing rioters away from Senate chamber Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Grassley tests positive for coronavirus MORE Jr. (Pa.) — for their votes on immigration. 

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"What they are doing, Schumer and the group, is disgraceful," Trump said of Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), pointing to those votes and to what he believes is a slow-walking on his nominees. 

Trump attacked Tester, who has become a regular target since former White House physician Ronny Jackson stepped down in response to allegations against him. Tester's office had publicized the accusations that Jackson had been lax with prescribing drugs, including opioids, was drunk during foreign trips where he was supposed to be on call and had a pattern of unprofessional leadership in office. 

“Senate Democrats like Jon Tester, you saw what happened there, what he did to one of the finest people in our country, what he did to the admiral? What he did was a disgrace," Trump said. 

He quickly pivoted to criticize Nelson and Casey for their vote on "Kate's Law," a measure that would sharpen punishments for those who attempt to return to America after being deported.

"Bill Nelson and Bob Casey voted against Kate’s Law, legislation made for Kate Steinle, who was gunned down by a five-time deported illegal immigrant," Trump said. "The same senators, along with nearly every other Democrat, also voted to protect something thats actually becoming very unpopular — sanctuary cities."

The White House has upped its attacks on Democratic senators in recent weeks, specifically Tester, as Republicans look to play offense in what will otherwise be a very difficult midterm election for them. Trump's low favorability marks and historic trends suggest that Democrats could perform well in the midterms, but Republicans are boosted by the realities of the Senate map, which has Democrats defending seats in 10 states Trump won in 2016. 

Trump pushed back on the doom and gloom peddled by some Republicans about the party's midterm standing, predicting a strong Republican showing

"As a result of our massive tax cuts — and everybody is benefitting and everyone is happy — the democrats are very concerned. You watch how well we do in '18, you watch. Get out and vote, don’t be complacent," he said. “We need Republicans to do it right, to get the kind of things we want, we've got to get Republicans elected, we've got to do great in '18.”