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At Dallas rally, embattled Trump calls 2020 a fight for ‘survival of American democracy’

President hauls in $5.5 million in 2020 campaign cash at two Texas fundraisers

President Donald Trump speaks to House Republicans in Baltimore on Thursday at their annual retreat. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
President Donald Trump speaks to House Republicans in Baltimore on Thursday at their annual retreat. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump wasted little time Thursday at a campaign rally in Dallas attacking Democrats leading an impeachment probe against him, saying “Crazy Nancy” and “Shifty Schiff” hate the United States.

“The Democrats have betrayed our country,” he said to cheers, adding the 2020 election is about the “survival of American democracy.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff say they are investigating the president and mulling articles of impeachment to preserve the country’s democratic republic. When she announced the  inquiry last month, Pelosi quoted Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who once warned of the challenges that would be faced with trying to “keep it” — referring to the form of government the founders set up.

To Trump, the special counsel’s Russia probe and now the impeachment inquiry show Democrats are “trying to overthrow the results of … maybe the greatest election in the history of our country.”

“Don’t kid yourself, that’s what they want. But we will never let it happen — not even close,” he told the rallygoers Thursday, before accusing Democrats of intending to “indoctrinate” America’s children with a “socialist” agenda.

[Rare, and unapologetic, bipartisan congressional rebuke for Trump on Syria]

The crowd roared as he dropped his latest derisive nickname for the speaker and his still-new one for the Intelligence panel chairman. Trump circled behind his lectern as a “Four more years” chant echoed through the massive arena. He called all congressional Democrats “sick people.”

Pelosi on Wednesday questioned his mental health.

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“They won’t come close in 2020. They know it. They’re not going to win it. They said, ‘Let’s see, what another idea,’” Trump said, suggesting again that the impeachment probe was merely designed to sink his reelection bid. “I don’t believe anymore that they love our country. I don’t believe it.”

The president stepped onstage inside the American Airlines Arena, home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, after raising $5.5 million at two GOP fundraisers earlier in the day, according to a Republican National Committee official. The Dallas rally and fundraisers came as the Lone Star State is no longer considered the dark shade of deep red it was just a few years back.

[Rep. Elijah Cummings, key Democrat in impeachment investigation, has died]

A senior Trump campaign official earlier this week said the reelection organization and Republican Party has seen a surge in campaign cash donations — and voter registration — since House Democrats launched their impeachment probe late last month. But that official acknowledged there’s lots of work left in places like Texas.

An average of several polls compiled by RealClearPolitics shows the president already faces a tough fight in Texas as he and the eventual Democratic nominee will jockey for the state’s massive haul of 38 electoral votes.

The latest RCP average, as of Thursday, gives former Vice President Joe Biden a 3-point lead over Trump in Texas, while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren trails the president by 2.5 points. 

The president also used his favorite derisive nicknames for Biden and Warren on Thursday, saying the former likely won’t win the Democratic nomination and giving the latter “credit” for her recent surge in the polls.

He also mocked and slammed Biden and his son Hunter over what Trump is calling “corruption” for their actions in Ukraine when the former vice president pressed Ukraine’s former government to oust someone the Obama administration saw as a crooked prosecutor while his son was on the board of an Ukrainian energy firm. (Neither Biden has been charged with wrongdoing in either country.)

Trump’s remarks again show how he intends to use harsh rhetoric to wage a bare-knuckle reelection bid.

One GOP political strategist let out a long sigh when asked recently if he thinks states like Texas and Georgia — longtime GOP strongholds — are actually in play.

“I should say, ‘Do you really think Texas — Texas! — is going to vote for Joe Biden or a liberal like Elizabeth Warren? Give me a break,” the strategist said. “But I can’t really say that. Not right now. I think Georgia is more of the threat to Trump — but neither one should be this close, to be honest.”

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