President Trump hosts Montana rally
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President Trump just wrapped up his rally in Great Falls, Montana, where he addressed a number of key issues before heading off to Europe next week.
Here are a few key quotes from the President:
- On his relationship with Russia: "Getting along with Russia and getting along with China and getting along with other countries is a good thing. It's not a bad thing. It's a good thing."
- On voting against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester: "A vote for Jon Tester is a vote for Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the new leader of the Democrat party, Maxine Waters.”
- On next week's NATO summit: "I am going to tell NATO, you've got to start paying your bills."
- On Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Native American heritage: "We will say, 'I will give you $1 million to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you are an Indian and let's see what she does."
- On his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I've been preparing for this stuff my whole life."
- On his Supreme Court pick announcement: "If you tune in Monday at 9 o'clock, I think you are going to be extremely happy."
In his second mocking reference to an ailing senior member of his own party, President Trump went after President George H.W. Bush's slogan during his rally.
"You know all of the rhetoric you see. 'Thousands points of light.' What the hell was that by the way?" Trump said in Montana.
The phrase was first used during Bush's nomination acceptance speech in 1988, and referred to the wide array of US clubs and volunteer organizations. He repeated it in his inaugural address. Later the term was used to name a foundation and awards.
It's been lampooned before, including on SNL, and Trump seemed to adopt that tone Thursday.
"Thousand points of light," he said. "What does that mean? I know one thing. Make America Great Again we understand. Putting America first we understand. Thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? It was put out by a Republican wasn't it."
Earlier, he again mocked Republican Sen. John McCain thumbs down vote on the health care vote, despite recent criticism of the comment by Meghan McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain’s closest friend in the Senate.
President Trump, part of his effort to make Rep. Maxine Waters a central issue in the midterm elections, furthered his rhetoric by questioning her intelligence, claiming she has an IQ in "the mid-60’s."
The remark came as Trump, as he has done in several recent speeches, called the California Democrat a “low IQ individual."
"Democrats want anarchy," Trump said. "They really do. And they don't know who they are playing with, folks. I said it the other day, yes, she is a low IQ individual. Maxine Waters. I said it the other day. I mean, honestly she is somewhere in the mid 60s. I believe that."
Just before his rally in Montana, President Trump tweeted that his Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned after months of ethics controversies.
The President addressed the resignation while speaking to reporters on his way to Montana — but he didn't mention Pruitt or his controversies during the rally itself. Instead, Trump talked about his upcoming meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin, next week's NATO summit and how he'd like Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prove her heritage, among other topics.
On board Air Force One on his way to the rally, Trump said it was Pruitt's decision to resign.
“He did not want to be a distraction," Trump said. "And I think Scott felt like he was a distraction.”
Taking on the recent calls from Democrats to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the midst of the family separation crisis at the border, President Trump promised to protect ICE.
“They protect us and we protect them,” he said of the agency.
The administration has faced intense scrutiny after over the separation of undocumented parents and children. Trump went on to sign an executive order aimed at keeping families together at the border, but some Democrats went further and have begun demanding the dismantling of ICE.
President Trump launched a sweeping attack on Sen. Jon Tester’s record during his visit to Great Falls, arguing that the Montana Democrat has been a loyal soldier for the Democratic Party in Washington, despite his claims of centrism and bipartisanship.
Trump argued that Tester says “one thing in Washington” and then comes home to Montana and pretends to be a centrist who sometimes supports the President’s agenda. He said he would rather have had Tester’s votes than his compliments.
He lavished praise on Tester’s opponent, Matt Rosendale — who appeared with Trump briefly on stage — as a “really good man.” He also complimented Rosendale, former real estate broker who moved to Montana in 2002, for surviving a tough Republican primary.
In one of his most pointed attacks, Trump said Tester voted no on a bill that would have banned late-term abortions: “You wouldn’t think it would play very well out here.”
“You deserve a senator who actually votes like he’s from Montana,” the President said.
The President got some of his biggest cheers with his critiques of Tester’s votes on immigration, drawing boos for the Montana Democrat when he said he voted against the travel ban and against the “vetting of refugees from terror stricken countries.”
President Trump, speaking at a rally in Montana, challenged Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prove her Native American heritage.
"We will say, 'I will give you $1 million to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you are an Indian and let's see what she does," the President told the crowd. "I have a feeling she will say no."
The Massachusetts senator has been a biting critic of Trump for some time. Trump has responded by repeatedly trying to belittle her as "Pocahontas."
Warren says she is Native American and points to "family stories" passed down to her through generations as evidence. One genealogist, following Warren’s account, traced her Native American heritage to the late 19th century, which, if true, would make her 1/32 Native American. (However, the legitimacy of those findings has been debated.)
During the rally, Trump described a debate strategy against Warren that involved tossing a boxed DNA test at her.
He made reference to the MeToo movement saying: “It’s the ‘MeToo generation’ so we have to be very gentle."
Warren later responded to Trump's remarks over her heritage on Twitter, saying that he should "focus on fixing the lives" that he's destroying.
President Trump, referring to critics who questioned on readiness for his Kim Jong Un summit, said he'll be "totally prepared" for his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At a rally in Greats Falls, Montana, Trump said...
“Now they're saying it with Putin. 'Well Putin is highly prepared. And Trump, will he be prepared for the meeting?' Trust me, we'll be just fine. Fake news. Bad people. Will he be prepared? Will he be prepared? And I might even end up having a good relationship. But they're going 'will President Trump be prepared? You know, President Putin is KGB.' And this and that. You know what? Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine. We're people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I've been preparing for this stuff my whole life. They don't say that.”
Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.