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Trump turns veterans address into political rally

President Donald Trump urged the audience before him on Tuesday to support a Missouri Republican's Senate campaign, s...

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 10:03 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 10:03 PM

President Donald Trump urged the audience before him on Tuesday to support a Missouri Republican's Senate campaign, smeared Democrats and warned the crowd not to "believe the crap you hear from (the media.)"

The speech amounted to a typical political stump speech for Trump, all except for the setting. Instead of a political rally draped in campaign signage, Trump was addressing the annual convention of the nonpartisan Veterans of Foreign Wars, which invites the sitting US president every year -- regardless of party -- to address its members.

Past US presidents have typically focused their remarks at the annual veteran's event on policy issues, leaving little room for partisan political attacks or political endorsements. President Barack Obama, though, in 2015 used his speech to take shots at Republicans over their budget proposal at the time.

Politics were on Trump's mind as he began his speech -- which was welcomed with raucous cheers and at times boos aimed at the Democrats Trump attacked -- by remarking that the roll call of "nay" votes on his Veterans Affairs secretary's confirmation amounted to a list of Democrats who will likely challenge him in 2020.

From there, Trump welcomed Missouri's Republican attorney general, Josh Hawley, on stage and told the crowd "we need him so badly" in the Senate. Next -- much like a political rally -- Trump ticked down a list of accomplishments and promises kept since he came into office before delivering fierce criticism of the news media and leveling attacks against Democrats.

"Don't believe the crap you hear from these people -- the fake news," Trump told the crowd of veterans. "What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

Raising the issue of immigration, Trump claimed many Democratic politicians are "disciples of a very low IQ person," Rep. Maxine Waters, a frequent Democratic critic of the President's. He also falsely accused Democrats of being "OK" with crime in the US.

"They want open borders, and crime's OK," Trump said. "We want strong borders and we want no crime."

Trump arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday after a local newspaper rolled out a welcome mat in the form of an editorial warning about his bellicose rhetoric toward Iran.

His appearance came amid a confluence of controversy involving Trump on the world stage, including an all-caps tweet two days earlier warning Iran that continued threats would result in "consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before."

Trump's tweet prompted an editorial from The Kansas City Star urging Trump to take the opportunity "to listen -- and we mean really listen -- to some of the heroes who will be on hand to hear him."

"They surely will have something to say about the realities of war and the horrors of combat," the newspaper's editorial board wrote. "Those insights would be good for Trump to hear now as he continues to rattle his saber at foes around the globe."

Trump on Tuesday said he was open to negotiations with Iran and said he is "ready to make a real deal, not the deal done by the previous administration, which was a disaster."

Trump's earlier saber-rattling toward Iran also came as he has sought out a less confrontational approach to Russia that has left the President's critics and supporters alike accusing him of adopting a weak posture in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last week in Helsinki, Finland, Trump refused to back the US intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference in 2016 over Putin's denials, before later attempting to walk back his remarks and reaffirm his support for US intelligence agencies.

Trump has sought to sweep away that controversy with another, signaling on Monday that he may revoke the security clearances of several former national security officials who have criticized him.

The President's trip to Kansas City will also include a political component. Trump will also hold a roundtable with supporters and will deliver remarks at a fundraising luncheon benefiting Josh Hawley, the Republican seeking to unseat Missouri's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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