TUPELO • Staring down an impeachment inquiry from the U.S. House of Representatives, President Donald Trump unleashed an aggressive show of oratorical force Friday night in Northeast Mississippi.
Stumping in the city of Tupelo for a second time in just about a year, Trump relished in the raucous approval of a capacity crowd at the downtown BancorpSouth Arena and lashed out at allegations that he wielded the power of his office in a corrupt ploy to bolster his 2020 re-election effort.
“The word impeachment, to me, it’s a dirty word, not a good word,” Trump said. “Totally phony deal, everyone knows it.”
Friday’s rally came a day after the Democratic majority in the House approved rules that will govern the public phase of impeachment proceedings. Trump framed this Thursday congressional action as the latest in an ongoing effort to undermine the 2016 election and drive him from office.
“Yesterday’s vote by the radical Democrats is an attack on democracy itself,” Trump said.
The impeachment investigation centers on Trump’s order earlier this year to halt foreign aid to Ukraine. Allegations of corrupt self-dealing have arisen from charges that Trump sought to withhold foreign aid unless Ukraine’s government investigated Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden, who is among the current front runners for the Democratic president nomination.
Repeating a previous claim that a phone call between himself and the president of Ukraine was “perfect,” Trump added that he won’t need the assistance of Ukraine to defeat Joe Biden if the two meet in 2020.
Touting his 2016 presidential victory, Trump recited his political victories over Republicans and Democrats alike.
“That means Bush and that means Clinton and that means Obama,” Trump said. “The Bush dynasty was easy.”
Trump dubbed Biden “Slow Joe,” and at one point attempted an imitation.
“I’m afraid if he gets the nomination he’ll be slow, we’ll have the lowest rated debates in history,” Trump said.
Deflecting from his embattled political stance, Trump reeled off what he considers his major accomplishments in office. These include positive economic indicators, such as unemployment statistics and stock prices, and the recent death of terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“While we’re creating jobs and killing terrorists, the Democrat Party has gone completely insane,” Trump said.
The president especially dwelt on the death of al-Baghdadi with gusto, graphically describing his death at the hands of the “righteous might of the United States.”
U.S. soldiers, Trump said, “punched out his ticket to hell.”
Combative and caustic language was laced throughout the Friday speech.
“We are kicking their ass,” Trump said of his opponents, including congressional leaders, Democratic presidential candidates and the press.
Highlighting the decision by former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke to drop his presidential bid, Trump called O’Rourke a “poor bastard,” and said he “he quit like a dog.”
Met with frequent applause and cheers throughout his Tupelo speech, Trump said the impeachment inquiry has catalyzed “an angry majority” and pledged ongoing support to his voters.
“You finally have a president who is loyal to you,” Trump said.