President Trump lobbed a series of crass and false attacks at some of his favorite targets at his Minneapolis rally Thursday night: Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and former Vice President Joe Biden. He also managed to piss off the Prince estate.
In front of a crowd of more than 10,000 at the Target Center, Trump openly pushed debunked conspiracy theories about Omar, including that she married her brother to give him permanent residency status in the U.S.
“We have never seen scandals like Omar’s, and nothing gets done about it,” Trump said.
“She is a disgrace to our country,” Trump added, jabbing his finger in the air as the crowd jeered around him. “How do you have such a person representing you in Minnesota? I’m very angry at you people right now.”
Omar has also long been one of Trump’s favorite and most effective bogeywomen. Earlier this summer, he tweeted that Omar — who immigrated to the U.S. from Somalia as a refugee when she was 12 — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which [she] came.”
And his comments have so emboldened right-wing conspiracy theorists that earlier this year House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to request additional security for the freshman congresswoman, who she said was in “real danger.”
But Trump went further on Thursday night, claiming that the sizable Somali refugee community in Minneapolis burdens taxpayers and drains local resources.
“I promise you that, as president, I would give local communities a greater say in refugee policy, and put in place enhanced vetting and responsible immigration control,” Trump said.
He also pointed to Omar’s boycott of Israel to imply that she is anti-American, at one point calling her an “America-hating socialist.”
“She said the U.S. support for Israel is all about the Benjamins. She said that pro-Israel lawmakers have an allegiance to a foreign country,” Trump said to cheers. “Representative Omar has a history of launching virulent, anti-Semitic screeds, whether you like it or not.”
He continued: “And she is one of the big reasons that I’m going to win, and the Republican party is going to win Minnesota in 13 months.”
Later, he turned his attention to a more recent obsession: the Biden family. He started with the former Vice President, his potential opponent in next fall’s election.
“He was never considered smart, he was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass,” Trump said of Biden on Thursday to thunderous applause from the crowd, before stepping away from the podium and shrugging. “It’s true, it’s true.”
He also made time to target Biden’s son Hunter.
“Hunter, you’re a loser. Why did you get $1.5 billion, Hunter?” Trump jeered, referring to yet another conspiracy about Hunter’s previous business dealings in China. Eric Trump, the president’s son, kicked off the rally by suggesting that voters change his dad’s infamous “lock her up” chant from the 2016 election — which referred to Hillary Clinton — to “lock him up.”
Trump’s obsession with the Bidens, of course, has made him and a colorful cast of associates the targets of a rapidly widening investigation by House Democrats. But while Democrats clamor to see Trump removed from office, he talked last night about serving several more terms.
“‘President, you’ve been here now, for, think of it, almost three years, can you believe we’re here three years?’ We, we, it’s we,” Trump said. “And we have to promise them no more than 16 years, okay? No more. No more. Sixteen more years.”
He then followed up with a wave of his hand, and said, “I’m only kidding. Now they’ll go back and say, ‘SEE, HE WANTS TO RUN FOR MORE!’”
Even Prince’s estate had something to say about Trump’s rally, after the campaign played “Purple Rain” from the Minnesota rock icon — despite agreeing a year ago it wouldn’t use any of Prince’s songs on the trail.
“The Prince Estate will never give permission to President Trump to use Prince’s songs,” it said in a statement.
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)