The president lashed out at the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, saying that the top Democrat in Congress “hates this country” and ridiculing her decision to begin an impeachment inquiry into his efforts to get foreign countries to dig up damaging information on his rivals.

To the delight of thousands who repeatedly roared their approval, Trump denounced the impeachment inquiry and condemned what he called the “unholy alliance of corrupt Democrat politicians, deep-state bureaucrats and the fake news media.”

“The radical Democrats’ policies are crazy. Their politicians are corrupt. Their candidates are terrible,” Trump said to huge applause. “And they know they can’t win on Election Day, so they’re pursuing an illegal, invalid and unconstitutional bullshit impeachment.”

Regarding Pelosi, he said: “She hates the country. Nancy Pelosi hates the United States of America, because she wouldn’t be doing this.”

Trump’s latest political rally came only a day after he appeared in front of supporters in Minneapolis to deliver a profanity-laced screed against former Vice President Joe Biden and called his younger son, Hunter, “a loser.” Trump only briefly returned to Washington, where an impeachment inquiry surrounding his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to uncover damaging information about the Bidens is rapidly moving forward.

In a head-spinning 24 hours before departing for Louisiana, Trump announced a preliminary deal with China that will forestall a tariff increase, and the Pentagon announced it would send additional troops to Saudi Arabia — a decision, Trump said before departing Washington, was made because the Saudis had “agreed to pay us for everything.”

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the president’s financial team must turn over eight years of Trump’s financial information to a House committee. Separately, judges in three states ruled against the administration’s efforts to withhold green cards from immigrants who receive public assistance.

And in a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill, Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, offered a scathing assessment of the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy, adding that she believed Trump had personally pushed for her removal for months.

Asked about Yovanovitch’s testimony before he left Washington, Trump said that Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, “didn’t speak favorably” about her during the July 25 phone call that has formed the basis of the impeachment inquiry.

Amid it all, Trump left again for the campaign trail, which he has long employed as a useful conduit for his most provocative language, particularly when he feels the confines of Washington closing in.

Upon landing, he announced the departure of Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, who had publicly expressed frustration with the job in recent weeks. Once the president took the stage in this southwestern corner of the state, he defended himself against those pursuing impeachment, singling out Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Schiff’s decision during a committee hearing to liken the president’s remarks in the July 25 call to a mobster issuing a veiled threat drew the president’s ire Friday, as it had for weeks.

“He made it up: It was fiction,” Trump said. “I don’t know, congressman, are you immune from something like that? That should be a crime.”

Throughout the rally, Trump seemed to abruptly switch emotional channels. He toggled between lashing out at Democrats to acting out an imagined back-and-forth between two former FBI officials, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, in order to mock them for exchanging unflattering text messages about Trump during his candidacy. He also paused at one point to interview Little League ballplayers about their pitching speeds.

Eventually, he circled back to his original purpose for the visit: testing his political influence over local races before Saturday’s primary election, largely following the same attack-style playbook he deployed last month in a close North Carolina race.

Earlier Friday, Trump urged his supporters to vote for one of two Republican candidates running to replace John Bel Edwards, the state’s Democratic governor.

At the rally, the president said that Edwards was “100% going to drop the Second Amendment” and sought to cast the centrist governor in the same light as other popular target at his rallies, including Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader.

Trump was joined by Edwards’ Republican challengers — Ralph Abraham, a third-term congressman, and Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman — but did not endorse either. The goal Saturday, he said, was to keep Edwards from earning the majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff.

“I need you to send the radical Democrat establishment a loud and clear message,” Trump told the crowd. “You are going to fire your Democratic governor. He’s done a lousy job.”

Edwards remains the leader in the race, with recent polls showing that he is likely to draw about 47% of the vote.

Keeping with a tradition of Louisiana Democrats, Edwards is largely a centrist, and earlier this year pleased conservatives when he signed a restrictive law that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

He is also practiced at the art of political survival in deep-red territories: Last year, he was the only Democratic lawmaker to attend the first state dinner of the Trump administration, an event that honored Emmanuel Macron, the president of France.

On Friday, the governor responded to the president on Twitter by defending his track record on the Second Amendment, and saying that he looked forward to working with Trump during his second term.

The particulars of the governor’s record — or any of the other more pressing news matters of the day — did not seem to concern Trump as he spoke for nearly an hour and a half.

As news broke that Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, was under investigation over whether he broke foreign lobbying laws in his work with Ukraine, the president was speaking about the importance of voter identification laws, and telling his supporters how much he loved them.

This article originally appeared in

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