WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was welcomed by supporters Tuesday to his new home state of Florida, where he held his first campaign rally since changing his address from New York to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. 

“Less than one year from now, I will join voters across the Sunshine State – my home –  as we head to the polls and together we will win back the House, we will hold the Senate and we will keep that beautiful, beautiful White House,” he told the crowd in Sunrise, about 50 miles southwest of Palm Beach.

Trump spoke for nearly 90 minutes before traveling to his Mar-a-Lago club for Thanksgiving as House Democrats moved forward with the next phase of the formal impeachment inquiry into whether he abused power by pressuring Ukraine to open investigations into his political rivals. The House Intelligence Committee announced it was drafting a report on its inquiry while the House Judiciary Committee said it would begin hearings on Dec. 4. 

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Trump boasted about intervening in three war crimes cases, in which he pardoned a former soldier convicted of second-degree murder and an Army major charged with executing a man suspected of being a Taliban bomb-maker.

He also reversed the demotion of Edward Gallagher, a Navy Seal accused of using a knife to kill a teenage Islamic State prisoner in Iraq, and of other killings of civilians. The move sparked criticism and resulted in the ouster of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who acknowledged he could not in “good conscience obey” the order from the president. 

“Just this week I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state. You know what I’m talking about,” Trump told the crowd Tuesday night, without mentioning any names. 

“We’re going to take care of our warriors,” he said. 

The president also claimed some politically correct people want to change the name Thanksgiving. 

“They don’t want to use the name Thanksgiving. And that was true also with Christmas but now everyone is using Christmas again,” he said before the crowd erupted in cheers. 

Trump was joined by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Fla. Attorney General Pam Bondi, who recently joined Trump’s impeachment legal team, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump appeared before thousands of supporters at the BB&T Center in Broward County, the most Democratic part of the Sunshine State, where Hillary Clinton won 66.5% of the vote compared with Trump’s 31.4% in 2016. 

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President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and first lady Melania Trump stand with Conan, the U.S. Army dog that participated in the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019.

Michael Ackerman, 63, a Boca Raton resident and sales and marketing executive, said it makes sense for Trump to change his residence since he’s “warmly received down here.” 

“He’s been a part-time resident for years so why not?” he said. “Everyone wants to live where they’re loved, you know? I’m happy to have him as a neighbor.” 

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Democrats protesting the rally saw the impeachment hearings differently. With a large Baby Trump balloon hovering overhead, Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo announced that Trump’s rally wasn’t for his homecoming, but for his “retirement.” 

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“He doesn’t care about us, he cares about getting votes,” Rizzo said. 

South Florida residents Elisa Berdugo, 55, daughter Dahlia Berdugo, 34, and daughter-in-law Sarah Lambert, 24 said they came to show the president he has support in this part of the state.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Broward Democrat, said Trump “needs to be shown the door and make sure it hits him in the tush on the way out.”

She told the crowd to vote Democrat up and down the ballot, saying any of the presidential candidates would be better than Trump. 

“We will not have a more important election than this one,” she said. “We cannot let the corruption infect this White House, infect our nation and erode the harmony that is the patriotism of the United States of America.”

Erin Perrine, deputy communications director for the Trump 2020 campaign, dismissed impeachment developments in an interview with the USA TODAY Network.   

 “What we’re seeing is stronger support every time Democrats step closer toward trying to impeach the president,” she said.

“The longer this goes on the more the American people see it for what it is: a witch hunt and a hoax.”

Contributing: Hannah Morse, The Palm Beach Post

Posted in: Home Decor.
Last Modified: November 27, 2019