While DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and FEMA Administrator Brock Long traveled to the White House to discuss emergency preparedness plans for Hurricane Michael in the Oval Office with Donald Trump, the president argued that it would be unfair to the people planning to attend his campaign rally in Pennsylvania later in the day if he were to cancel the event.
So the show went on — even as millions of Americans suffered through the largest hurricane to hit Florida in years. Ironically, Trump hit former president Barack Obama six years agao for a similar move.
"There was collusion between Hillary, the Democrats and Russia," Trump told a campaign crowd in Erie, Pennsylvania, shortly after they had begun chanting "Lock her up!" about the former Secretary of State on Wednesday. "There was a lot of collusion with them and Russia and lots of other people."
Even as Trump continues to fend off suspicions that he and/or his presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, he has decided to baselessly accuse his former Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, of the same thing.
It's a stale act, so that may be why Fox News, Trump's favorite cable news outlet, decided for the second day in a row to ignore Trump's rally. Fox News also stuck with its lineup on Tuesday night, even as Trump gave shout-outs to multiple Fox News hosts during his unaired speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In response, a senior administration official told Politico that the White House plans "to look into" Fox News' decision.
Clinton herself has been taking shots at Trump in recent interviews, characterizing the president as a threat to fundamental American values and urging her supporters to believe that civility is not an option in responding to his presidency.
"You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about," Clinton explained to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, according to USA Today. "That's why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that's when civility can start again."
She added, "When you're dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interests who want a government that does its bidding, you can be civil but you can't overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections."
During his Erie rally, Trump also took shots at the #MeToo movement and at Democrats who had opposed the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to accusations of sexual misconduct from the judge's past, according to CNN. At one point, Trump claimed that there was something he wanted to say but he couldn't do so because of "the rules of #MeToo."
"I used the expression, you know, there’s an expression but under the rules of Me Too I’m not allowed to use that expression anymore. I can’t do it," Trump told the laughing audience. Instead he used the substitute expression "the person that got away," although one person in the audience urged the president to "do it anyway" (i.e., say whatever it was he had planned on saying).
Trump also condemned Senate Democrats like Dianne Feinstein of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey for being tough on Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
"What the radical Democrats did to Brett Kavanaugh and his beautiful family is a national disgrace. It’s a disgrace. What they did was a disgrace. You look at Cory Booker, the way he’d talk and then you look at what he did. You look at Sen. Dianne Feinstein, what she did," Trump told the audience.
He later added, "The disgraceful behavior, the disgraceful leaking of documents, you look at what they did. You look at the false charges, you look at the false accusations, it was a disgrace, it was a disgrace." The president also claimed that he had never thought of pulling Kavanaugh's nomination, despite media reports to the contrary.