Last Saturday, President Trump used a campaign rally for Rep. Steve Saccone as a re-election campaign ally for himself, taking the opportunity after one year in office to reveal his slogan for the 2020 race.
“Keep America Great, exclamation point,” he told the crowd gathered in Western Pennsylvania. The crowd applauded.
Trump was there to whip up something like excitement about Saccone, who is running in a special election to replace Chris Murphy, the conservative Republican who resigned after it was revealed he pressured his mistress to have an abortion. Saccone, whom Trump has disparaged as a “weak candidate” (but not at the rally), should be on solid ground in the reliably Republican district. But a weekend Monmouth poll showed Democrat Conor Lamb, a former Marine and U.S. attorney, running six points ahead.
But mostly Trump talked about himself, his achievements, whom he dislikes and his plans for re-election. He said he hoped Oprah Winfrey would run, and that it “would be a painful experience for her.” He added: “Oh I’d love Oprah to win, I’d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness.”
Trump commented on how he compared to Lamb, who is young and objectively very handsome. “I think I’m better-looking than him. I do. I do. I do. And he’s slightly younger than me,” he said of the 33-year-old.
The president claimed credit for reducing the nuclear threat from North Korea, having blindsided his advisers and State Department by accepting an invitation last week to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. “Who knows what’s going to happen? It could happen, it doesn’t happen,” Trump said of the meeting. “I may leave fast, or we may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world and for all of these countries, including, frankly, North Korea, and that’s what I hope happens.”
Less hopeful happenings awaited at the White House, where on Tuesday longtime Trump aide John McEntee was abruptly fired and escorted off the White House grounds, so abruptly he was not allowed to collect his coat. CNN reported that McEntee was removed over a security clearance issue, specifically that he is the subject of a “serious financial crimes investigation.”
Shortly thereafter, Trump’s re-election campaign announced McEntee would be coming aboard as “senior adviser for campaign operations.”