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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Trump says he wants a THIRD term because his campaign was spied on and he can only lose a 'rigged' election - then recounts conversations with God who he says is 'testing' him with the pandemic

President Donald Trump let loose a stream of vitriolic insults and take-downs of leading Democratic politicians whom he accused of 'coddling' criminals Monday – labeling his opponents both 'fascists' and 'radicals.'
He also described the economic impact of the coronavirus as 'God testing me,' and joked that it might have been a punishment for him building 'the greatest economy' before it happened.
'Joe Biden is the puppet of left-wing extremists trying to erase our borders, eliminate our police … vilify our heroes, take away our energy,' Trump told a crowd of a few hundred supporters in an airport hangar in Mankato, Minnesota.
'Fascists,' he called them. 'They are fascists.' Then Trump hedged slightly, saying 'some of them' were fascists. 'Not all of them.'
The mini-rally was the second stop on a quickfire campaign swing through Minnesota and Wisconsin intended to counter-program the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, which had been scheduled to take place in Milwaukee before the pandemic. Each event was progressively larger and many of the supporters were not wearing masks.
At the next event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin Monday, he told cheering supporters he would serve for 'four more years' – and beyond.
Trump made the remark, which drew chuckles applause from a few hundred supporters who gathered in an airport hangar, that he deserved a 'redo' due to what he called 'spying' on his campaign during the Obama administration.
It's a once off-limit topic the president has joked about online, even as rival Joe Biden has raised his own fear that Trump will contest the election results and try not to leave the White House.
Trump drew some spontaneous applause of 'Four More Years!' from crowd members when he talked about the economic agenda he would like to continue.
'Four more years!' said crowd-members, including a group of elderly supporters in Trump gear who threw their hands in the air.
'And then after that we'll go for another four years,' Trump continued. 'You know what, they spied on my campaign so we should get a redo,' Trump said. 
With Democrat Joe Biden leading him in a slew of polls as the former vice president kicks off his nominating convention, Trump said at all three stops that Democrats would 'destroy our Second Amendment' and 'attack our right to life,' saying at the first stop - at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport: 'I am the only thing standing in the way of your Second Amendment.'
New attack: Donald Trump accused Democrats of being 'left-wing fascists,' then hedged, 'some of them' in a fiery speech in Minnesota
New attack: Donald Trump accused Democrats of being 'left-wing fascists,' then hedged, 'some of them' in a fiery speech in Minnesota
Rally mode: Donald Trump delivered a sustained attack on Democrats and Joe Biden at a hangar at Mankato regional airport in Minnesota
Rally mode: Donald Trump delivered a sustained attack on Democrats and Joe Biden at a hangar at Mankato regional airport in Minnesota
Crowd pleaser: Donald Trump brought a USA camp to the podium for the speech in front of Air Force One
Crowd pleaser: Donald Trump brought a USA camp to the podium for the speech in front of Air Force One
Brief journey: Donald Trump flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Mankato, where he was shadowed by the Beast - the presidential limousine - as he walked a short distance to the hangar to speak
Brief journey: Donald Trump flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Mankato, where he was shadowed by the Beast - the presidential limousine - as he walked a short distance to the hangar to speak
Crowd: Few masks were on show as Donald Trump's supporters gathered to watch his mini-rally speech on the second stop of his rapid campaign swing to Minnesota and Wisconsin
Crowd: Few masks were on show as Donald Trump's supporters gathered to watch his mini-rally speech on the second stop of his rapid campaign swing to Minnesota and Wisconsin
Economic message: The president spoke about rebuilding the shattered economy as a challenge personally given to him by God, impersonating a conversation with God about it
Economic message: The president spoke about rebuilding the shattered economy as a challenge personally given to him by God, impersonating a conversation with God about it
Themed masks: One section of the crowd featured more people in masks branded for the president
Themed masks: One section of the crowd featured more people in masks branded for the president
Trump says pandemic is 'God testing me' after attacking Biden
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Trump then teed off on what he sometimes calls Obamagate, which includes allegations of FBI misconduct and corruption against him.
'You can call it whatever you want. I use the word treason,' Trump said.
The 22nd Amendment, passed by Congress after the death of F.D.R. and ratified in 1951, limits a president to being elected to two terms in office.
Biden in June said his 'single greatest concern' is that Trump will 'try to steal this election.'
Since then, Democrats have howled at Trump's attacks on mail-in ballots and the Postal Service.
Trump, 74, spoke loosely about an even longer term in office during a take-down of the media. He predicted media networks would tank if Trump were to lose to Joe Biden.
'When I do leave, in let's say 16, 20 years … when we leave, you're going out of business,' he said.
At the second stop in Mankto, he called out what he termed 'left-wing fascists,' not long after delivering his 'law and order' message at Minneapolis-St.Paul Airport with business owners he said had their dreams 'burned to the ground' during rioting in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
'We're going left wing all the way,' Trump warned.
Trump said he was rebuilding the economy and promised a 'more than v-shaped' recover 
At one point, Trump brought up what he described as a conversation with God, suggesting that the impact of the pandemic on the economy was divinely ordained.
'We built the greatest economy in the history of the world and now I have to do it again. Now you know what that is? That's God testing me,' he said.
'He said, 'you know, you did it once' and I said: 'Did I do a great job God? I'm the only one that can do it.''
Trump then wagged his index finger in mock impersonation of God reproaching him, saying God told him: 'You shouldn't say that.  Now we're going to have you do it again.''
The audience laughed then Trump said he told God: ''OK, I agree, you got me.' But I did it once and now I'm doing it again.'
Trump once again accused Democrats of seeking to 'rig' the election through the use of mail-in ballots.
He also called Joe Biden a 'jerk' in a riff apparently on an interview with Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who Republicans accused of manipulating Biden after she said 'we were able to significantly push Joe Biden to do things that he hadn't signed on to before, so he is movable, he is listening.' 
Trump said: 'And what about the Congresswoman that I watched at the weekend? 
'''I have total control over Biden, he'll do anything I say...I have total control'...what she's saying is, 'I have total control over this jerk,' he said.
''He'll do whatever the hell I want.'' 
He and didn't go much easier on Sen. Kamala Harris or Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
'Does she love our country?' he asked of the longtime California lawmaker,and called the vice-presidential candidate 'another beauty,' accusing her of being the most liberal senator.
Trump says he deserves third term during Wisconsin speech
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Supporters: Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff (second left) , is part of the campaign swing. Trump highlighted Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO (center) who is the Republican campaign chairman in Minnesota, during his speech
Supporters: Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff (second left) , is part of the campaign swing. Trump highlighted Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO (center) who is the Republican campaign chairman in Minnesota, during his speech
Hangar rally: Trump spoke from a dais erected in front of a hangar at Mankato
Hangar rally: Trump spoke from a dais erected in front of a hangar at Mankato
Here for the fans: Donald Trump walked down Air Force One - the smaller military version of a Boeing 757 used for shorter runways - with a USA cap in hand at Mankato
Here for the fans: Donald Trump walked down Air Force One - the smaller military version of a Boeing 757 used for shorter runways - with a USA cap in hand at Mankato
Show of enthusiasm: Donald Trump was saluted by his supporters at the mini-rally in an aircraft hangar
Show of enthusiasm: Donald Trump was saluted by his supporters at the mini-rally in an aircraft hangar 
Campaign slogan: Donald Trump went back to Air Force One past a truck emblazoned with his campaign slogan
Campaign slogan: Donald Trump went back to Air Force One past a truck emblazoned with his campaign slogan
Pro-Trump: One supporter was wearing a t-shirt from a pro-Trump apparel maker
Pro-Trump: One supporter was wearing a t-shirt from a pro-Trump apparel maker
Another hangar rally: The biggest crowd of the day was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where Trump stopped for his third event
Another hangar rally: The biggest crowd of the day was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where Trump stopped for his third event
Largely unmasked: Many of the supporters who came for the mini-rallies did not cover their faces for the event - although others had found campaign-styled masks
Largely unmasked: Many of the supporters who came for the mini-rallies did not cover their faces for the event - although others had found campaign-styled masks
Attendees: This was the scene inside the hangar where Trump supporters could watch the 56-minute speech
Attendees: This was the scene inside the hangar where Trump supporters could watch the 56-minute speech
Masked message: One section of the crowd was largely masked for the event and stood in front of an alternative campaign slogan
Masked message: One section of the crowd was largely masked for the event and stood in front of an alternative campaign slogan
The crowd of supporters, some masked, some not at the outdoor venue, booed when Trump mentioned Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the 'squad' member who recently won her primary.
'This woman is crazy. She's a horrible woman who hates our country,' Trump said.
Earlier, Trump stopped in Minneapolis to hold an event with small business owners whose stores were damaged after violent protests and riots after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May in police custody.
'I´m here to help you. We will bring back law and order to your community. We will bring it back and we will bring it back immediately,' Trump told supporters on the airport tarmac. He did not venture to the scene of the protests or the memorial to Floyd in the city.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the White House had been interested in Trump visiting the makeshift memorial in Minneapolis on the site of Floyd´s fatal encounter with police on Memorial Day.
'I spent this weekend trying to tell the White House why it was a really bad idea to have President Trump go down and stand at the George Floyd memorial and use (it) as a backdrop for his campaign and ignite the pain and the anguish that we´re feeling in Minnesota,' the governor said Monday during a virtual breakfast for the state´s delegation to the Democratic National Convention.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows disputed Walz' statement.
'Gov. Walz never reached out to me, nor the president, nor the campaign so perhaps he misspoke,' Meadows told The Associated Press. We´ve communicated before, so he has our contact information.'
On the tarmac in Minneapolis, Trump addressed about 150 supporters - half of them wearing masks - who chanted 'Four More Years.' Trump told them that the Democrats will be taking away the constitutional amendment to bear arms.
Democrats want to elevate their 'left-wing war on cops,' Trump asserted.
 'Their sympathies lie with lawbreakers and with criminals.' 
Trump also was set to visit Wisconsin - the official host state of the entirely virtual Democratic National Convention - to launch a week of travel and political events aiming to blunt the customary polling 'bounce' that a candidate gets during their convention week. The president trails in both public and private surveys less than three months before Election Day.
'We´re going to be working very hard,' Trump said before leaving the White House. 'We have to. We´re getting down to final crunch. We want to be there.'
Marking his heaviest week of political travel since the coronavirus put a stop to his campaign schedule and imperiled his reelection chances, Trump was expected to sharply criticize Biden's economic policies in the Upper Midwest battleground states.

On Tuesday, Trump will take on Biden over his immigration policies during a visit to Yuma, Arizona. He is also set to travel to Pennsylvania, the state of Biden's birth, on Thursday, ahead of the Democrat's acceptance speech.
Trump's aggressive push comes as his path to reelection has narrowed since the coronavirus hit, and he's been forced to play defense in the states that carried him to reelection four years ago. Minnesota, viewed as a GOP pickup opportunity a year ago, now appears to be slipping out of reach, Republicans say.
Wisconsin, a state that had voted for Democratic presidents for decades until Trump's 2016 victory, has emerged as one of the toughest battlegrounds of 2020. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday plans to visit the southern part of the state. 
Trump's campaign views the state's whiter, older demographics to be more favorable than Michigan, which Trump also won four years ago but is increasingly seen as a likely Democratic pick-up.
Trump's campaign is seizing on Biden's decision not to travel to Milwaukee for the convention, citing the pandemic, as the Democrat `effectively abandoning' Wisconsin. The GOP is surging Republican surrogates to the state this week in a show of force, including Pence and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.
Democrats insist they are still contesting the state, where they are devoting resources to television ads and field organizing, but that Biden is just being cautious and curtailing non-essential travel due to the coronavirus. 
Democratic candidate: Donald Trump described Joe Biden as the puppet of 'left-wing extremists'
Democratic candidate: Donald Trump described Joe Biden as the puppet of 'left-wing extremists'
Killing: The death of George Floyd sparked protests and then riots in Minneapolis and around the country. The Minnesota governor accused the White House of planning a speech where he died
Killing: The death of George Floyd sparked protests and then riots in Minneapolis and around the country. The Minnesota governor accused the White House of planning a speech where he died
Supposed venue: Minnesota governor Tim Walz said the White House had wanted to hold a Trump speech at the memorial to George Floyd where he was killed. The White House chief of staff disputed his account
Supposed venue: Minnesota governor Tim Walz said the White House had wanted to hold a Trump speech at the memorial to George Floyd where he was killed. The White House chief of staff disputed his account
Dems concerned 'wannabe dictator' Trump may not leave office quietly
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He and Sen. Kamala Harris, his newly announced running mate, are set to deliver their convention addresses from Biden's home state of Delaware this week, mitigating the need for air travel.
The Republican Party and Trump campaign are also ramping up their efforts as Biden takes center stage. Trump Victory, the campaign's joint field program with the Republican National Committee, will be holding over 2,500 events across the country, the RNC said. They also plan to knock on more than 1 million doors and call millions more voters during the week of the Democratic convention.
The events this week come as Trump's campaign is looking to redefine what the president's political events look like in the age of the coronavirus. Trump is set to address hundreds of supporters at airports in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Mankato, Minnesota, two months after he was forced to abandon plans to resume holding rallies amid a resurgence in cases.
'We'd love to have those rallies, but I guess you just can't do that, you're not allowed to do that now,' Trump said in Mankato, saying he has embraced 'airport hops' as an alternative.
In Minnesota, there is a statewide mask mandate for public indoor spaces, and capacity must be limited so safe social distancing can be maintained. Many Trump supporters at both events in the state were not wearing masks during Trump's remarks. In Wisconsin, supporters are required to be masked, but there is no statewide limit on how many people can gather.
Toward the end of his remarks in Oshkosh, Trump urged his backers: ‘Do those beautiful absentee ballots or just make sure your vote gets counted.’ The line came despite his earlier attacks on broader mail-in balloting. Trump himself votes absentee in Florida.
‘The only way we lose this election is if this election is rigged,’ he told them.
‘The only way they’re going to win is that way and we can’t let that happen,’ Trump added.

Trump's campaign, meanwhile is trying to set historically high expectations for the Biden campaign.
'You better believe that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to get somewhere between a 8 and 10 point bump after this convention they put on,' Gidley told Fox on Monday, 'solely because the media just fawns all over them.' 

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