Updated Jul 5, 2018 8:48 PM EDT
In a lengthy, freewheeling speech Thursday in Great Falls, Montana, on Thursday, President Trump spent the vast majority of the hour-plus speech hitting on familiar themes: trade, taxes, immigration, protests by NFL players, the economy, the press, better relations with Russia and North Korea, his proposed "space force," and the Supreme Court vacancy.
The president once again promised to appoint a justice to replace the retiring Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy. Mr. Trump said Kennedy had decided to leave the High Court because he knew the president would pick a stellar replacement. Mr. Trump did not mention former EPA chief Scott Pruitt's resignation, which happened only hours earlier.
Mr. Trump was in Montana to campaign for Republican candidates, including at-large Rep. Greg Gianforte and U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. Toward the start of the speech, Mr. Trump concentrated his fire on Democratic Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who is leading Rosendale in the polls despite the state's Republican lean. "You deserve a senator who actually votes like he's from Montana," told the crowd after criticizing Tester at length.
Tester earned the president's ire for helping lead the fight against his onetime nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary, Dr. Ronny Jackson. Mr. Trump called Jackson a "beautiful person" who did not really want to be VA secretary but accepted the nomination out of a sense of duty.
"Tester doesn't share your values," Mr. Trump said. "Jon Tester showed his true colors with his shameful, dishonest attacks on a great man."
Mr. Trump said he felt guilty for nominating for Jackson, who withdrew his nomination amid questions of ethical lapses involving drinking and prescribing medication. "I put him into the world of politics," Mr. Trump said. "How vicious is the world!"
Mr. Trump also took time to attack his Democratic rival for the presidency in 2016, Hillary Clinton, who he said gets "special treatment under the Justice Department." The crowd responded with excited chants of "lock her up," a common refrain on the 2016 campaign trail.
But Clinton and Tester weren't the only Democrats who drew fire from Mr. Trump on Thursday. He also mocked former Vice President Joe Biden, California Rep. Maxine Waters, and repeatedly referred to Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas."
Mr. Trump noted that he had been criticized for referring to Warren as Pocahontas, a reference to Warren's claimed Native American ancestry. But he also said the attacks were working, and said he would buy her a genetics testing kit should he ever face her in a presidential debate. In the process, he also mocked the "Me Too" movement, saying that he would be considerate as he pushed her to take it.
"Pocahontas, I apologize," Mr. Trump said. "To you, I apologize. To the fake one, I won't. "
The president also attacked Democrats for their opposition to his immigration policies. And he insisted that Waters, an outspoken critic of the president, had a "low IQ."
"Democrats want anarchy," Mr. Trump said. "They really do."
Mr. Trump also frequently complained of trade deficits while touting the good performance of the economy. He said the European Union and China had been taking advantage of the U.S. but said that he was in the process of correcting any trade imbalances.
"The war was lost" on trade "many years ago," Mr. Trump said, but now "we're going to win it."
Mr. Trump's rally came just after EPA administrator Pruitt resigned Thursday. Mr. Trump did not mention Pruitt Thursday.
Mr. Trump accepted Pruitt's resignation in a tweet and said that Pruitt's EPA deputy Andrew Wheeler will take over his position starting Monday.
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