President Donald Trump couldn’t help but brag about a set of Republican special election victories as he appeared at a White House event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, and a campaign-style rally.
Republican congressional candidates Karen Handel and Ralph Norman won close races in Georgia and South Carolina, respectively, on Tuesday night.
‘We’re 5 and 0 in special elections, and I watched the faces on those newscasters, in many cases, and they were going, “Oh this is going to be a big night, this will be great humiliation for President Trump if she doesn’t make it,” ‘ the president said at the event.
Trump went after NBC and CNN – which didn’t broadcast the president’s evening rally – for election night coverage that featured sad-looking political prognosticators who’d cast the congressional races as referenda on his presidency.
Reprising some of his favorite assaults from the campaign, Trump went after the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Paris accord, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, Obamacare, and even Hillary Clinton.
In a new promise, Trump said his administration would be submitting legislation that bars immigrants to the US from claiming welfare for their first five years in the country. He also talked, for the first time publicly, about putting solar panels on his border wall, and his belief that the GOP healthcare bill needs more ‘heart.’
President Donald Trump couldn’t help but brag about a set of Republican special election victories as he appeared at a White House event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday evening, and a campaign-style rally
Trump went after NBC and CNN – which didn’t broadcast the president’s evening rally – for election night coverage that featured sad-looking political prognosticators who’d cast the congressional races as referenda on his presidency
Pregnant Lara Trump cradled her baby bump before speaking to the crowd at her father-in-law’s event
In a new promise, Trump said his administration would be submitting legislation that bars immigrants to the US from claiming welfare for their first five years in the country
Trump celebrated the House-passed GOP health bill in an elaborate Rose Garden ceremony last month where he hailed the legislation as ‘a great plan.
‘What we have is something very, very incredibly well-crafted,’ the president said then.
TRUMP PAYS TRIBUTE TO STEVE SCALISE
‘I’d like to also take this moment to send our thoughts and prayers to our courageous friends. somebody that I’ve gotten to know very well, Steve Scalise, and everyone recovering from the assault,’ Trump said at the beginning of his rally remarks.
‘We are praying for you. we are pulling for you. you have our absolute support and our deepest admiration.
‘And our gratitude goes out tonight as well to the capitol police officers who saved so many lives. You know they ran from the outfield in. They were being hit by rifle fire. They only had handguns and they were able to get ‘em. it was an amazing show of talent and bravery.’
GOP senators told reporters last week after a White House brainstorming session that Trump now thinks the bill is too ‘mean.’
The president’s spokesman wouldn’t confirm yesterday that Trump had derided the bill he once supported in that way. Sean Spicer appeared to confirm the reporting, however, when he said ‘the president clearly wants a bill that has heart.’
CNBC had used the very same word – ‘heart’ – in a report on the president’s thinking earlier in the day.
Tonight, Trump affirmed that he asked lawmakers to come back with a plan that appropriates more money to government-funded health programs.
‘And I think and I hope, can’t guarantee anything, but I hope we’re gonna surprise you with a really good plan,’ he said. ‘I’ve been talking about a plan with heart. I said add some money to it. A plan with heart. But Obamacare is dead.’
Trump brushed off critics who have pointed out that he said, repeatedly, that he’d repeal and replace the existing health care law on day one. Now, he can’t even get Republicans in the House and Senate to agree on a bill.
‘I’ve been there for five months. If you remember during the Clinton period they worked for years and years and years and never got health care,’ he protested. ‘But President Obama, his whole administration pushing, pushing for Obamacare, which has now failed.’
The Senate is in the process of making changes to the House’s health bill in closed-door sessions. The White House could not say Tuesday whether the president or his staff had seen a copy of the current bill, a version of which leaked Wednesday as Trump was heading to Iowa.
Reprising some of his favorite assaults from the campaign, Trump went after the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Paris accord, the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, Obamacare, and even Hillary Clinton
A group of four women standing behind the president garnered attention on social media for taking selfies and even dabbing throughout his speech
Trump also celebrated the House-passed GOP health bill in an elaborate Rose Garden ceremony last month where he hailed the legislation as ‘a great plan
‘We also want to preserve our safety net for struggling Americans, who truly need help,’ Trump said at another point in his remarks. ‘But others don’t treat us fairly. That’s why I believe the time has come for new immigration rules, which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years.’
Trump said his administration would be ‘putting in legislation’ to change the welfare policy that first appeared in a draft executive order ‘very shortly.’
The order that was making the rounds in February proposed to make legal immigrants who use the welfare services subject to deportation, the Washington Post reported.
Typically, immigrants are kept from using the programs as soon as they arrive. Some states offer flexibility to immigrants with dependents under the age of 18, however.
He also talked for the first time publicly about another conversation he’d reportedly had with GOP leaders behind closed doors about his border wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.
Trump had floated an idea to top the divider with solar panels at a June 6 meeting, but Wednesday was the first time he spoke openly about the plan that he claimed was his idea.
‘The higher it goes, the more valuable it is,’ Trump said in Cedar Rapids. ‘Pretty good imagination right? My idea.’
Trump said his administration would be ‘putting in legislation’ to change the welfare policy that first appeared in a draft executive order ‘very shortly’
A huge crowd of supporters packed tightly up against the barriers at the arena to get a glimpse of the president
One woman gave a thumb’s up back to Trump as he turned around and greeted the crowd
His favorite topic of the evening, though, was the special election and the opportunity it gave him to attack the ‘fake news’ media
A solar-paneled wall that creates energy that would help offset its cost was among the proposals that the Department of Homeland Security was looking at for the border before Trump pitched it to senators.
Finalists for the bid were said to have been invited to San Diego last week build prototypes of their proposals.
‘This way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?’ the president declared this evening. ‘You’re the first group I’ve told that to. A solar wall, makes sense.’
The idea received loud applause from attendees of the president’s a speech.
‘That’s one of the places that solar really does work, the tremendous sun and heat,’ Trump, a former real estate developer, told his supporters. ‘It really does work there. So we will see what happens with that, that would great, and I think we could make it look beautiful too. It would really look beautiful, so that would be nice.’
His favorite topic of the evening, though, was the special election. Trump relished the opportunity to attack the ‘fake news’ media, and Democrats, once again, bringing the victories up at each of his Cedar Rapids events.
Taking a victory lap at the first one, Trump said of the TV networks: ‘They built these studios, they built everything, there were set. Believe me, had our wonderful candidate lost, this would have been one of the great big stories in the history of American politics. Those studios would have been up for weeks, they would have been talking for weeks about this tremendous defeat.
‘And after it said projected winner, they just sort of slinked out of there,’ Trump said, earning laughter from his Iowa audience during an event the White House said would be about agriculture innovation.
Making fun of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Trump said that one journalist blamed Democrats’ defeat on the weather. ‘It was drizzling,’ he said.
During his speech, Donald Trump made a reference to this picture, which was tweeted out by White House staffer Sebastian Gorka on Tuesday night
Donald Trump joked about Gorka’s tweet, which was an image taken from a CNN broadcast on Tuesday night discussion the special election in Georgia
A young Trump supporter looks down as those surrounding him follow his every word
Supporters wearing trademark Make America Great Again hats stand up and applaud the president during his speech
Trump stood alongside tractors as he spoke during a pre-rally event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids
Maddow had asked a colleague on Tuesday’s broadcast, ‘If there was a turnout effect from the bad weather today in the district, does that have any partisan implications that you could foresee in terms of what was expected for same day, election day voting rather than the early vote?’
She was blasted by conservatives for the question that Trump referenced twice at his Wednesday events as he celebrated the Republican wins.
At his rally later, Trump slammed NBC as ‘phony’ over the Maddow comment.
‘They actually had one of the people say you know, it was a little rainy last night,’ Trump said in an impression of the liberal MSNBC host.
The rest of Trump’s comments were a slap at CNN, which he has called fake news numerous times. The president’s supporters and staffers were sharing a meme of CNN prognosticators looking shocked and demoralized after it became clear that Handel would beat Democrat Jon Ossoff.
‘We will never be intimidated by the dishonest media corporations who will say anything and do anything to get people to watch their screens or to get people to buy their failing papers,’ Trump proclaimed at his rally, which he held at an arena in Cedar Rapids. ‘These entrenched forces are fighting only for themselves and in many cases for their survival, but I’m fighting for you.’
‘Obstruction doesn’t work!’ Trump tweeted, mocking Democrats for failing to pick up congressional seats despite standing in the way of his legislative priorities
Georgia’s 6th Congressional District special election went to Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night, delivering Trump a victory in what was seen as a referendum on his presidency
Trump had criticized Democrats on Wednesday morning for their legislative ‘obstruction,’ hours after the Republicans won the congressional races that reinforced his own victory.
‘Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare,Tax Cuts,Security,’ he tweeted. ‘Obstruction doesn’t work!’
Democrats have dug in their heels, saying publicly that they will oppose any Republican effort to introduce tax cuts or replace the Obamacare health care scheme.
He gloated Tuesday night on Twitter that Democrats have failed in a series of special elections to make a compelling case against his agenda.
Trump returned to the topic on Wednesday night in Iowa, where he opined that with a ‘few votes from the Democrats,’ health care reform ‘could be so easy and so beautiful.’
‘You’d have cooperation, and their plan isn’t working because they thought they were going to win last night in Atlanta,’ he said. ‘They thought they were gonna win, and they’ve been unbelievably nasty, really nasty and they thought, they spent close to $30 million on this kid who forgot to live in the community that he was in.’
The president admitted that he wasn’t helping the cause with his taunting.
‘I am making it a little bit hard to get their support but who cares?’ he said mischievously.
Republican Ralph Norman won in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District
Republicans, as Trump gloated, haven’t lost a special election since he took office
Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, held to fill the seat previously held by Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, was the most expensive House race in history.
Still, Democrats couldn’t cross the finish line.
‘Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0’ Trump wrote on Twitter.
The mockery came he offered prayers for Congressman Steve Scalise, the Republican congressman fighting for his life after last week’s baseball practice shooting, and four others hit in the melee.
‘Hopefully our nation emerges from this ordeal – it was an ordeal, terrible – more unified and more determined than ever before,’ he said. ‘We are indeed more unified in our own way than ever before. You just have to take a look at what’s happening here, right?
‘If we set aside the cynics and the critics we have a chance, and it’s a great chance. It lies before us to do extraordinary things for our country in the years ahead. History is written by the dreamers, not the doubters.’
Trump also commented on the death of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student who was held prisoner in North Korea for 17 months and returned to the US in coma. He died Monday.
‘I came in and took over a very difficult hand, but we’re gonna get it fixed. That’s what you put me here for. We’re going to get it fixed,’ he said. ‘You look at North Korea, what’s going – look at Otto, beautiful Otto went over there a healthy, wonderful boy and you see how he came back. You see how he came back. so we’ve been given a bad hand and we are going to take that bad hand and it will all be good.’