Donald Trump brought his political might to Minnesota Thursday night, offering a fiery defense of the impeachment inquiry into him, touting his re-election campaign and slamming his political rivals, including ‘American hating socialist’ Ilhan Omar and the ‘lousy’ Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
The president didn’t hold back in a fiery, 102-minute speech to the packed Target Center, which holds 20,000 people. It was his first campaign event since Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry into his presidency.
‘This is a great state. We are going to win this state,’ he told the cheering crowd.
He attacked several Democrats including Omar, one of his favorite targets, and Frey, with whom his campaign battled with over the security bill for the rally and over cops who wanted to support the president while in uniform.
And he attacked the mayor for allowing refugees into the city. Omar came to the United States as a teenager with her family, who were fleeing violence in Somalia.
Donald Trump brought his political might to Minnesota Thursday night
Donald Trump slammed his political rivals, including ‘American hating socialist’ Ilhan Omar and the ‘lousy’ Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Trump specifically criticized the state for accepting large numbers of refugees from Somalia and boasted about how he’s tried to cut down the number of refugees into the country.
‘As you know, maybe especially in Minnesota, I kept another promise. I issued an executive action they can clear that no refugees would be resettled in any city or any state without the express written consent of that city by that state. So speak to your mayor,’ he said as the crowd cheered.
‘As you know, for many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to New York state from Somalia. Without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers. I promise you, that as president, I would give local communities a greater say in refugee policy and put in place in hand setting and responsible immigration control. And I have done that. Since coming into office, I have reduced refugee resettlement by 85 per cent,’ he said.
Frey responded on Twitter: ‘Consent given. Immigrants and refugees are welcome in Minneapolis.’
Omar represents Minneapolis, where Trump held his rally. The city is home to the largest population of Somalis in the United States.
He asked the crowd of her election: ‘How the h*** did that ever happen?’
‘Congresswoman Omar is an American hating socialist,’ he said of the Democratic lawmaker.
She responded by asking for donations to her re-election campaign.
‘At his rally just now, Trump called me an “America-hating socialist” and a “disgrace.” He shouted xenophobic conspiracy theories about me. He scolded my district for voting for me. His hate is no match for our movement. Stand with me by donating now,’ she tweeted with a link to her fundraising page.
In his remarks, Trump rehashed the criticism against her, including her comments about Muslims that were taken by some as supporter of the September 11th attacks – which Omar said was not the case – and slammed her criticism of Israel.
‘She minimized the September 11 attack on our homeland,’ he said. ‘She pleaded for compassion, for ISIS recruits, right here in Minnesota. Omar laughed.’
‘She said that the U.S. Support for Israel is all about the benjamins,’ he added, referring to a tweet she sent last year that alleged lawmakers supported Israel because of money donated to them
‘How can you have such a person represent you in Minnesota? I’m very angry. She is a disgrace to our country and she is one of the big reasons that I’m going to win as the Republican party is going to win Minnesota in 13 months,’ he noted.
He also brought up the congresswoman’s personal life, citing a report about her past marriage.
‘Omar’s legal husband was Omar’s brother and that she had married him for fraudulent purposes,’ he cited, adding: ‘You mean, maybe like coming into the United States, may be?’
Omar has denied allegations her husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi was her brother, but the website Politifact notes there has been no conclusive evidence one way or another and that little is known about Elmi.
Another target of the president’s fury was Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who the president called ‘lousy.’
Trump got into a Twitter war with Frey over the security costs of his event.
The fracas erupted after the Trump campaign said the city of Minneapolis presented the operator of Target Center a $530,000 bill for security costs, which the arena operator had sought to pass along to the campaign.
The city shut down several streets around the center for security reasons with police officers patrolling the area. There was also a strong security presence in the arena, where protesters were removed six times during Trump’s remarks.
Frey earlier defended the security cost estimate, saying it was reasonable and that he had a duty to taxpayers to ensure safety.
Omar responded to Trump by asking people to donate to her re-election campaign
Trump praised the red ‘Cops for Trump’ t-shirts worn by supporters
The president also slammed the mayor for he and his police chief, Medaria Arradonon, barring off-duty members of the city’s police force from attending the rally and other political events in uniform.
That prompted an angry backlash from the police union, led by Lt. Bob Kroll, which sold red ‘Cops for Trump’ – a number of which were worn by Trump supporters to the rally Thursday night.
‘There are a lot of very beautiful red t-shirts in the audience,’ he said at the beginning of his rally.
‘I love law enforcement I love the cops, I love the police. Minneapolis, Minneapolis, you got a rotten mayor. You got to change the mayor, you’ve got a bad mayor. You got a bad mayor,’ he told the crowd.
Lt. Bob Kroll of Minneapolis police started selling red ‘Cops for Trump’ t-shirts and spoke at the rally
Trump invited cops up on stage with him
A protester amid Trump supporters at the rally
He railed against ‘the lousy mayor that won’t let the cops’ support him.
Kroll spoke at the event before Trump went on stage and the president invited him back during his remarks, along with 10 other police officers, one of whom carried a sign that read: ‘Law & order. Vote Trump.’
‘‘There’s so many red shirts and there are plenty of people without the red shirts and I just want to tell you, the respect that we have for law enforcement is unbound, it’s unbound. Come up,’ Trump said.
‘What can I say after that?,’ Kroll said.
He did note people could watch him on Fox News later.
The president claimed on Thursday that more than 80,000 people requested tickets to his rally in Ilhan Omar’s congressional district – a Democratic territory.
That number changed when arrived at his rally later in the evening, with the president upping it to 100,000.
‘So we have 20,000 plus people inside. We just set a new record,’ Trump said. ‘And we have 25,000 people that we still love outside. And close to 100,000 people wanted to come tonight.’
It’s unclear how many people were outside the Target Center, which seats 20,000, but several of them were protesting Trump’s rally.
Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by 1.5 per cent in the 2016 election – a sliver of a win that Trump wants to overturn. It would be hard for a Democrat to win in 2020 without Minnesota.
A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972.