President Trump targeted who he called the "hateful" and "enraged" Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry and his Texas challenger Beto O'Rourke during a nearly 90-minute campaign rally in Dallas on Thursday. Mr. Trump's rally was held one day after a tense meeting with Democratic congressional leaders, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked out after he called her a "third-rate politician."
"The more America achieves, the more hateful and enraged these crazy Democrats become," Mr. Trump said, drawing boos from the crowd.
"At stake is the survival of American democracy itself," he added. "They are destroying this country, but we will never let it happen."
It didn't take Mr. Trump long to discuss the impeachment inquiry. He defended what he called a "perfect" July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and slammed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. "Shifty Schiff makes up my conversation, which was perfect, so he made up a totally false conversation with the Ukrainian president," Mr. Trump said.
And while Mr. Trump didn't spend much time discussing allegations that he threatened to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden, he zeroed in on what he called the "terrible foreign corruption of the Bidens." Mr. Trump has made unsupported accusations of impropriety against Biden and his son Hunter, who was employed by an energy company in Ukraine, which Biden has denied.
Just miles away, O'Rourke was hosting a counter rally called the "Rally Against Fear." According to O'Rourke's campaign, there were over 5,000 in attendance at that rally, which also featured Democrats competing to run against Republican Senator John Cornyn. O'Rourke called out what he described as the "false, bullsh*t fear of Donald Trump."
O'Rourke, who has made gun control a central theme of his campaign, was the first Democratic candidate Mr. Trump targeted during the rally. Mr. Trump called O'Rourke "a very dumb Democrat candidate for president," and tore into the 2020 contender for his stance on guns and his proposal to end tax exemptions for religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriages.
"Beto, in a few short weeks, got rid of guns and got rid of religion," Mr. Trump said. "Those are not two good things in Texas to get rid of."
Mr. Trump slammed Democrats for engaging in what he called "endless wars," and heralded the "tremendous success" of reaching a five-day ceasefire agreement with Turkey.
"These wars brought mass chaos, instability, destruction, and death," Mr. Trump said. "Today, we choose a different path."
"Without spilling American blood — not one drop of American blood — we've all agreed on a pause or a ceasefire in the border region of Syria," Mr. Trump added.
"Sometimes you've gotta let them fight," he continued. "Like two kids in a lot, you have to let them fight, and then you pull them apart."
Mr. Trump finished by claiming that his election may have been the best ever, with the possible exception of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and urged his supporters to elect him for another four years.
"Once we do, it will be very hard to take this beautiful experiment apart," he said.
Dallas police arrested an armed adult man wearing body armor at the rally, CBS Dallas Fort Worth reports. The man revealed he had a license to carry the weapon, but was still taken into custody and brought to a local hospital for evaluation. No injuries were reported.