Trump singles out Dem senators in NRA speech

Trump singles out Dem senators in NRA speech
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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) TesterTrump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans 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 NelsonLobbying world The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world MORE (Fla.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats propose ,000 hazard-pay plan for essential workers Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Democratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers 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.”