President Trump has been riding high since Attorney General William Barr submitted his four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report to Congress. Though Barr’s conclusion raises more questions than it provides answers about the investigation’s findings, the president and his allies are falsely claiming “total exoneration” while also seeking revenge on anyone who has dared imply that Trump may not actually be, as he described himself to Sean Hannity on Wednesday night, “the most innocent human being.”
The president’s victory tour continued Thursday with a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As was the case during his 45-minute “interview” with Hannity the previous night, the president meandered through his talking points with varying degrees of coherence. He praised the Fox News hosts who have supported him; he bashed the Democrats trying to unseat him; and he assaulted the Mueller investigation from just about every angle imaginable. “The Russia witch hunt was a plan by those who lost the election to try to illegally gain power by framing innocent Americans with an elaborate hoax,” he said.
“Democrats now have to decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bullshit,” he added
But as has been the case since before he was elected, nothing gets Trump supporters stirred into a frenzy like immigration. Brown people are coming to kill us all, the president wants Americans to believe, and he’s the only one who can stop it. On Thursday night, he callously mocked migrants who come to the border seeking asylum from the violence and poverty rampant in their home countries, claiming they are trying to scam their way into the United States.
“They’re all met by the lawyers,” Trump said. “They’re all met by the lawyers. They say, say the following phrase: I am very afraid for my life. I’m afraid for my life. I look at the guy. He looks like he just got out of the ring, he’s the heavyweight champion of the world. He’s afraid for his life? It’s a big, fat con job, folks. It’s a big, fat con job.”
— fake nick ramsey (@nick_ramsey) March 29, 2019
Trump again threatened to “close the border” if undocumented immigrants don’t stop coming into the country. “Another two caravans now are pouring up,” he said. “Mexico could stop them, so easy. And you know what, if they don’t, it will cost them a hell of a lot of money, honestly. Cause they could do it so easy. And if they don’t, we will close the damn border!”
When he wasn’t complaining about the Mueller investigation or lathering up fear over immigration, Trump was riffing on the elements. Wind, for instance. While speaking with Hannity on Wednesday night, Trump criticized wind power, claiming it is ineffective because the wind “only blows sometimes.” He elaborated Thursday night. “If Hillary got in, you’d be doing wind,” he said. “Windmills! Weeeeee! And if it doesn’t blow, you can forget about television for that night. ‘Darling, I want to watch television.’ ‘I’m sorry! The wind isn’t blowing.'”
“I know a lot about wind,” Trump added. “I know a lot about wind.”
Trump also claimed to know a lot about lakes. “I support the Great Lakes,” he said. “Always have. They’re beautiful. They’re big. They’re very deep. Record deepness, right?” Somehow, this is a lie. As Cleveland.com points out, Trump’s most recent budget proposal cuts federal funding to clean up the Great Lakes from $300 million to $30 million. The administration’s previous budget proposals have included similar cuts, which have all been overruled by Congress.
‘All Trump’s yearly budgets proposed cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Over the past two years, Trump proposed a 90 percent cut. During his first year in office, he called for eliminating the program.’ https://t.co/oVylf0ty44 https://t.co/RdJpJsgfat
— Travis J. Tritten (@Travis_Tritten) March 29, 2019
But the president on Thursday claimed that he was going to fully fund the cleanup initiative that his own administration has been trying to defund. “I am going to get, in honor of my friends, full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which you have been trying to get for over 30 years,” he said. “So, we will get it done.”
Trump pulled a similar maneuver earlier in the day when he told reporters he planned to fund the Special Olympics. Earlier this week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came under fire after it was revealed that the administration inexplicably planned to strip all federal funding from the Special Olympics. “I’ve been to the Special Olympics,” Trump said while announcing the course correction before leaving for Grand Rapids. “I think it’s incredible.”
But the theme of the night was the Mueller report, and Trump made clear that he is intent on taking revenge on anyone who has misgivings about his relationship with Russia. No one has as many as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who on Thursday morning delivered a fiery speech listing of all of the ways Trump’s campaign worked or attempte to work in tandem with Russia. “I don’t think it’s OK,” Schiff said of Trump’s many indiscretions. “I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion.”
Trump hit him where it hurts in Grand Rapids: “Little pencil neck Adam Schiff. He’s got the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. He is not a long ball hitter.” Trump then mocked Schiff’s speech that morning before calling him a “sick” person.
Trump mocks Adam Schiff, calls him "pencil neck" pic.twitter.com/4PFGlGdMg6
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) March 28, 2019