President Donald Trump hailed the ‘amazing’ crowd at his Phoenix rally Tuesday night – after an evening where he repeatedly jumped off script to attack the media and political rivals.
As he did Tuesday night, Trump also went after GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is among a handful of Republicans to have publicly raised criticisms about him, calling Flake ‘weak and crime.’
‘Phoenix crowd last night was amazing – a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!’ Trump tweeted.
On Tuesday night, Flake was among Trump’s many targets. He also referenced brain cancer-stricken McCain’s vote against a Senate GOP Obamacare repeal, without mentioning either man by name.
President Donald Trump praised the ‘amazing’ crowd at his Phoenix rally, where he flew off the handle against the media and took shots at Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona
‘One vote away, I will not mention any names — very presidential. And nobody wants me to mention your other senator, who’s weak on border, weak on crime. Nobody knows who the hell he is! See, I haven’t mentioned any names, so now everybody’s happy.’
Trump spent considerable time at his rally rehashing his remarks about Charlottesville – and blasting the ‘fake news’ media for treating him unfairly.
He ran through many of his public comments on the subject, but left out his comment where he blamed violence on ‘many sides’ and said there were ‘very fine people’ at a white supremacist rally.
He also read about the times he referenced the KKK and white supremacists in a condemnatory fashion, but didn’t mention that this comment came during his second comments on the topic, intended to clean up his omissions of the first. Saturday statement.
Trump referenced the ‘packed house’ at his Phoenix rally and called Sen. Jeff Flake, who has criticized him, ‘weak on crime’
‘I hit him with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything. I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there, let’s say. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all,’ Trump said in his speech.
The president returned to the topic online Wednesday, tweeting: ‘Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn’t cover fairly. People got it!’
Trump also launched a series of verbal grenades at the media who were there covering his rally, which drew thousands on a day that hit 107 degrees outside.
‘These are dishonest people. They are bad people. The only people giving a platform to hate,’ Trump said.
Not all the reviews of the rally were as positive as Trump’s. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper said it led him to question Trump’s ”fitness to be in this office.’
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Trump blamed reporters for framing him as a racist, and thousands lavished praise on him for defending himself in the face of feirce media criticism
Trump also in effect threatened to shut down his own government in order to force Congress to fund construction of a border wall he called for during the campaign, although he said at the time that Mexico would pay for it.
‘If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall’ Trump said.
The House has passed a bill that would fund the wall but it faces an uncertain future, with a limit on expiration of the nation’s debt limit just weeks away.