“Hunter, you’re a loser,” taunted Donald Trump at his rally in Minneapolis last night to the delight of his supporters gathered at the Target Center. Trump got personal in his attacks on the Bidens, going after Hunter’s drug use and sudden transformation into an energy expert, while disdaining Joe Biden’s reputation as an eminence grise among Democrats. “He was only a good vice president,” Trump said, “because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
“Hunter, you know nothing about energy, you know nothing about China, you know nothing about anything, frankly,” Trump said to a near-capacity crowd. “Hunter, you’re a loser.”
Mocking Hunter Biden’s lack of public appearances, Trump bellowed: “Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he? . . . I have an idea for a new T-shirt . . . Where’s Hunter?” …
Hunter Biden served for nearly five years on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company, whose owner came under scrutiny by Ukrainian prosecutors for possible abuse of power and unlawful enrichment. Hunter Biden was not accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation. As vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who Biden and other Western officials said was not sufficiently pursuing corruption cases. At the time, the investigation into Burisma was dormant, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials.
During the raucous rally — interrupted frequently by pro-Trump chants, cheers and boos as protesters were hauled out of the arena — the president ramped up his attacks on Biden and paid scant attention to other potential 2020 Democratic challengers, even as the former vice president has faltered as of late in polling.
Biden “was never considered smart,” Trump said. “He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
Never let it be said that Trump left any argument on the cutting-room floor. The Hunter Biden attacks might be a bit too personal to sell well outside of a rally stage, but Trump’s more on the mark about Biden. Obama picked him as a running mate mainly because Obama put his foot in his mouth regarding Russia in the 2008 campaign and needed someone with foreign-policy experience on the ticket after the invasion of Georgia. Biden is what passed for a foreign-policy expert in Democratic circles. In reality, as Robert Gates later wrote, Biden has been wrong on every major foreign policy question over the last four decades.
By all marks, the rally was a success. It got tons of attention and earned media, annoyed the national media, set up new betes noires and heroes for Team Trump (Mayor Jacob Frey and the police union, respectively), and forced Democrats to the defensive on their own turf. It even included a demonstration of how nuts Trump’s opponents can get:
As President Donald Trump’s speech moved close to the 90-minute mark Thursday night, skirmishes between protesters and Minneapolis Police officers outside Target Center began to heat up in the rain.
A group of protesters were seen on video lighting up a bonfire with what appeared to be Trump-related baseball caps and apparel.
Police are shown extinguishing the fire, and keeping protesters at bay with chemical spray, bicycles and even horses.
Those optics might have even been worth paying the absurd $530,000 security fee Frey initially demanded. Perhaps Frey should send that bill to the DFL instead.
Our friend Scott Johnson at Power Line even got a special shout-out from Trump last night. Trump praised Scott for his tenacious reporting on Ilhan Omar while tearing into the first-term House member for her anti-Semitism:
“Man, do you have her figured out,” Trump told Johnson, while noting that the media is ignoring his “great reporting.” That’s how to make sure you connect to the local community.
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