While the press is overwhelmed with reporting on the Articles of Impeachment, USMCA, and Lavrov visiting, Trump is gathering and securing his base.
On Tuesday morning in Washington D.C., it was hard to keep up with all the news breaking. There were updates on the articles of impeachment and the USMCA and Lavrov’s visit to the White House and Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania. Writing the first draft of history can be exhausting.
In a press conference at 9 AM, it became clear that the Democrats would move forward in bringing two articles of impeachment against the president Trump: 1) abuse of power and 2) obstruction of Congress.
Trump did not seem to be fazed. He tweeted his usual “witch hunt” and had the White House issue a statement against the Democrats. Same old, same old. On the same day, Lavrov visited the White House, in closed doors meeting at the Oval to which the press had no access.
I did not stand a chance at getting any quote from Lavrov on the White House grounds. This afternoon, just a few of us—Jim Acosta, Jon Bua and I—stepped out of the press premises some fifteen minutes before Lavrov’s scheduled meeting for 3.30 pm. It turned out Lavrov had arrived at the meeting early and used the side route from the Eisenhower building to the West Wing.
With all these news happening before our eyes, Horowitz’s report came out on Monday. AG Barr’s reaction was strong: “Trump campaign was spied on”. Barr’s public commentary on NBC and his reading of the report indicate the change in the tone.
Meanwhile in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Trump opened his rally energized, reminding everyone: they are all “so lucky I became your president”. This was followed by a quick move to “fake news” and they are “fake, fake, fake, fake.” Trump will take any reason to demean the news. Pick any. Trump can say anything he wants, wrap it up in a joke and receive mass ovations. And watch this: he does not even have a guitar to pump up entertainment. It’s Trump’n’rolla through the truth. Gay Richie may soon cast him for a movie.
Trump spoke hyperbolically about the state of the U.S. economy and offered his usual criticism of NAFTA. Unlike politicians, Trump said, he keeps his promises. Okay. It’s unclear when Trump forgot that he is a politician. The public does not seem to care, as Trump acts in front of them like a chronic campaigner in the hope of winning the Oval Office.
Trump said Congress will soon vote on his USMCA deal. “They did, on the same day, they announced they are going to impact your favorite president,” he said. “They are embarrassed by the impeachment and our numbers have gone through the roof because of her stupid impeachment.”
Impeachment, in Trump’s view, is the only reason USMCA has been approved. How’s that for an Art of the Deal? He then quickly moved to boast about an increase in investments in the military.
Nostalgia and distrust
Nostalgic, as a man who is about to be impeached, Trump asked if the most exciting night was when he won the office. MAGA fans approved.
Trump reported there are not too many honest journalists. “Does anyone think that the media is honest?” Mass booed. Trump is doing public polling in prime time and for free.
USA, USA, USA, the masses were chanting at any mention of ISIS’ leader defeat. Where is this nationalism coming from?
“America is winning again,” Trump says and, he added, it’s “winning like never again”.
A failed Washington establishment wants to overthrow our democracy, he claims. “Republicans have never been this united because this is all the hoax”
Impeachment is about overturning 2016 vote and the attempt to win the 2020 election, but Trump says “ do not worry it is never going to happen.”
Everyone has the stage
At the rally, Trump, strategically brought up the Horowitz report, stating that it was a great abuse of power. Facts do not matter. What matters is getting votes through entertaining his base.
Then, the incident happened.
The woman with a black knit “#metoo” hat, was holding a pink sign that said “Grabbing power back.” The sign had an image of a hand raising its middle finger. The crowd booed and jeered at the woman as she was removed.
“Get her out”, Trump ordered. His rallies are on the verge of the incidents and it is just a matter of time until things fall off the rails. At 8:16 pm, an older man standing on the arena floor appeared to faint. He was offered a chair and a bottle of water by the press pool, but he was quickly moved to the ground, where he laid prone as he received medical attention. He was escorted out of the arena in a wheelchair at 8:23 pm to a smattering of applause from the crowd nearby. POTUS did not appear to be aware of the incident and continued his remarks.
“We do not want to be politically correct,” the president declared. On this, Trump can be trusted.
Forget the TV and Twitter, here comes a new medium to get his message across, the MAGA rally.
“Obama FBI obtained secret earrings to spy on my campaign…The dossier was written by discredited foreign agent…:” Trump went on.
“Folks, they spied on our campaign. Never happened before in the history of our country.”
“They knew right from the beginning that this was all set up.”
“Look how they hurt people. Their lives have been destroyed by scum”.
Trump has found his outlet, the political rally. He is using the media he slams every day to carry his message. Trump did not spend time to speak to the press today. He rarely commented on the impeachment articles. Instead, he waited for the rally, when he would have the stage for his own and unlimited time to monologue while all the media is taping live without any possibility to throw a question, interrupt or challenge his statements. By the time anyone gets a chance to react to his outrageous statements, he has already spoken.
Impeachment light, anyone?
Trump claims the Russia witch hunt is dead. On articles of impeachment, he said this is “the lightest, weakest impeachment ever…they are not even a crime”
“Impeachment light,” Trump said as he was about to sip Coca Cola light.
“This is the lightest impeachment in the history of impeachment.”
“The whistleblower defrauded our country,” Trump said.
“They are impeaching me, as they want to win the election”.
“You’re the elite. You’re the elite. You’re the elite.” Trump kept telling anyone willing to applaud at the rally and behind the tv screen. Masses like to hear that. Trump intends to pit them, the masses, against the elite, the Democrats. These rallies are his fight club. On the campaign trail next year, we will see his Project Mayhem.