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‘After Three Years of Lies, Smears and Slander, Russia Hoax is Finally Dead’: Trump

They were “trying to sabotage the will of the American people” and “illegally regain power by framing innocent Americans,” claimed Trump

People cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., March 28, 2019. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump, at his first political rally since the end of the two-year Russia collusion investigation, unleashed a furious attack on cheerleaders of the probe into alleged ties between his 2016 election campaign and Moscow.

The “group of major losers” went beyond personal attacks, according to Trump, and tried to tear up the fabric of American democracy, refusing to accept the results of the presidential election.

They were “trying to sabotage the will of the American people” and “illegally regain power by framing innocent Americans,” claimed Trump at a boisterous rally Thursday night in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

‘Collusion delusion’

Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has not been released, the president says it totally exonerates him.

However, a four-page summary written by U.S. Attorney General William Barr states that while the “report does not conclude the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Taking a victory lap on the rally stage, Trump, however, declared that “after three years of lies, smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over.”

Trump unleashed particular vitriol at two powerful House Democrats, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, who are among those in Congress vowing to continue investigating him, his election campaign and Trump businesses.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff is a “little pencil-neck,” said Trump, who subsequently mentioned Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, and declared, “these people are sick.”

Earlier in the day, Schiff faced calls from Republicans to resign as committee chairman. He immediately hit back at them citing what he called “evidence of collusion” between Trump and Russia.

Democrats want to see full report

Nadler is among the Democrats requesting Barr send Congress the full Mueller report by April 2.

“Show us the report and we’ll come to our own conclusions,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday in a message directed at the attorney general.

trump, mueller report
The “group of major losers” went beyond personal attacks, according to Trump, and tried to tear up the fabric of American democracy, refusing to accept the results of the presidential election. VOA

Pelosi questioned what the president and the Republicans are afraid of, mocking them as “scaredy-cats.”

Deepening divide

Trump also continued with his criticism of the “fake news media,” whom he accused of teaming with “the deep state” of trying but failing to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

ALSO READ: NY County Declares Emergency Because of Measles Outbreak, Bans Unvaccinated People from Public Places

“Many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly our country was hurt,” Trump said.

Thursday’s verbal barrages fired by the Republican president and the opposition Democrats put on stark display the deepening political divide in America.

A diverse group of Democrats, including six women, as well as black, Hispanic and openly gay candidates, is vying to challenge Trump in 2020. (VOA)

Next Story

Economy to Overcome Other Issues in 2020, says Trump

President Donald Trump is hoping that simple message in 2020 will help foil his eventual Democratic Party challenger. 

President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a Keep America Great Rally at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S. VOA

“It’s the economy, stupid” has been a catchphrase of U.S. presidential politics since the 1992 campaign, when Bill Clinton unseated incumbent George H.W. Bush. Nearly three decades later, U.S. President Donald Trump is hoping that simple message in 2020 will help foil his eventual Democratic Party challenger.

Trump — in tweets, at political rallies and in remarks to reporters — constantly emphasizes the performance of the U.S. economy, stock market surges, low unemployment rates and his tax cuts to boast he is doing a great job as president.

Economists and political analysts are divided on whether that message will enable the incumbent to stay in office beyond January 2021.

Culture war, partisan split

Ever since Clinton, “we’ve all kind of assumed that should be true. And I think for the most part, it is,” said Ryan McMaken, senior editor and economist at the Mises Institute, a politics and economics research group in Alabama. He cautioned, though, that Trump finds himself on one side of a culture war that his predecessors did not have to confront, as well as a deep partisan divide on consumer confidence.

Walmart Supercentre
Balo Balogun labels items in preparation for a holiday sale at a Walmart Supercenter, in Las Vegas. Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But it will be the shortest season since 2013 because of Thanksgiving falling on the fourth Thursday in November, the latest possible date it can be. VOA

Policy analyst James Pethokoukis at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research group, also is cautious about the economy prevailing over all other issues.

“Just having a strong economy is not going to guarantee you re-election,” he said. “People often point back to the 2000 election, which occurred after a decade of tremendous economic growth any way you want to measure it — gross domestic product, jobs and wage growth. And yet, [Clinton’s vice president] Al Gore still lost that election to George W. Bush.”

McMaken questioned whether voters in key swing states — such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio — who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 were experiencing enough of the touted economic performance to vote again for the president.

Overall, however, “it’s not a bad economy to run on if you’re Donald Trump,” said Pethokoukis.

Trump, said to have concerns about the direction of the economy ahead of next November’s election, will likely push for more tax cuts, passage of a renegotiated North American trade pact and continued pressure on the country’s central banking system, the Federal Reserve, to lower interest rates.

A LB Steel LLC's employee manufactures a component
A LB Steel LLC’s employee manufactures a component for new Amtrak Acela trains built in partnership with Alstom in Harvey, Illinois, U.S. VOA

Trouble ahead?

There are rumblings of economic storm clouds on the horizon. The impact can be seen in Trump’s trade war with China, which has hurt U.S. farmers and raised prices for consumer goods. It’s also reflected in the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index, an underperforming U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index and a ballooning record national debt, in addition to the worrying level of money owed to creditors by middle-class Americans.

“We’ve actually been in a sort of a manufacturing recession, seen a shrinkage of factory jobs, the exact kinds of jobs that I’m sure that people voting for the president thought would be a lot better now,” said Pethokoukis.

So far, none of this has prompted a major stock market correction.

“There seems to be a lot of adaptations in the markets to Trump’s America. That may work to his advantage,” said the Mises Institute’s McMaken.

Analysts note a lack of emphasis on economic platforms so far by the leading Democratic U.S. presidential candidates seeking to oust Trump next year.

But such a platform is likely to be touted when the opposition party holds its convention next July in Milwaukee and picks its campaign ticket. Pethokoukis suggested the Democratic Party should devise a plan with a goal to boost American worker productivity, which has flatlined for years.

The great divide

McMaken pointed out that the widening chasm between the well-off and those struggling economically in the United States makes Trump vulnerable — something emphasized by left-leaning Democratic presidential contenders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Donald Trump says the economy isn't doing well
Tents and tarps erected by homeless people are shown along sidewalks and streets in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S. VOA

“On the ground level, I would say just in general, the economy isn’t doing as well,” concluded McMaken.

ALSO READ: Greed For Power May Demolish The Democracy

Amid an impeachment drive by the Democrats, Trump is repeatedly hammering on a specific message to those questioning his suitability for office while being impressed with the performance of their pension accounts during his presidency.

“Love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me,” Trump said at a rally in New Hampshire in August, warning that Americans’ investments portfolios would go “down the tubes” if he lost next year’s election. (VOA)