Trump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp'

Trump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE bashed Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Dems offer measure to raise minimum wage to per hour Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE (D-Mont.) during a campaign rally in his home state of Montana on Thursday night, accusing the incumbent senator of embracing the "swamp" in Washington, D.C.

“Jon Tester will never drain the swamp because he happens to live in the swamp and he loves the swamp,” Trump said in Billings, Mont., while touting Tester's Senate GOP rival Matt Rosendale.

"The problem is he’s never going to vote for me,” Trump added, referring to Tester.

Trump attempted to tie the Democratic senator to his popular foils, Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senators debate whether to retweet Cardi B video criticizing Trump over shutdown William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Cardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid MORE (N.Y.), House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE (Calif.) and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Financial system can forge bipartisanship in Congress Ocasio-Cortez, freshmen poised to take on Wall Street MORE (D-Calif.).

“Don’t forget, Tester’s going to vote with the Waters and the Pelosi's. Can you believe it, Maxine Waters is the new leader in the party…she is something. But he’s going to vote for Schumer, he’s going to do whatever they say…Their policies are horrible,” he said.

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“Jon Tester talks like he’s from Montana, but he votes like he’s Nancy Pelosi," Trump added.

Trump also slammed Tester for his handling of the failed confirmation of Dr. Ronny Jackson as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Tester, as ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced allegations of misconduct made against Jackson by coworkers. 

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Senators offer measure naming Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying MORE (R-Ga.) supported Tester in his handling of the allegations.

Tester's campaign issued a statement that steered clear of criticizing Trump while highlighting the president's praise for bills advocated by Tester.

“Thank you to President Trump for once again praising the work Jon Tester has done reducing regulations, fighting for veterans, and working to hold the VA accountable," Tester campaign manager Christie Roberts said in a statement.

"We urge the President to sign Jon’s 19th bill that currently sits on his desk. While Jon keeps fighting for Montana, Matt Rosendale continues to look out for himself rather than stand up for Montana."

During his rally Thursday night, Trump praised Tester’s opponent Rosendale, the Montana state auditor and former member of the state legislature.

“Very, very important that we elect Matt, and frankly other republicans,” Trump said.

Rosendale briefly came to the podium to heap praise upon Trump, saying, “This crowd is all here for you, and what a crowd it is."

"Thank you for fighting for us and for always putting America first. Montana is going to right a wrong this November and we’re going to send you the conservative reinforcements you need to continue your good work,” he said. 

"My promise to each and every one of you is that I will always put Montana first and stick with president trump to make sure we advance his agenda."

Rosendale went on to tout Trump’s immigration policies, vow to only serve two terms in the Senate and announced the National Rifle Association's endorsement of his campaign.

Tester is one of 10 Democratic senators running for reelection in states Trump won in 2016. Two polls show him with a single-digit lead over Rosendale, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as as "likely" Democrat.