- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2019

President Trump campaigned Tuesday night on the popularity of his grants of clemency for three U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes, telling a Florida “homecoming” rally that he fought Washington’s bureaucracy and won.

“Just this week, I stuck up for three great warriors against the deep state,” the president told a packed arena in Sunrise, Florida. “I will always stick up for our great American fighters. People have to be able to fight.”

At his first rally in Florida since changing his legal residence to the crucial swing state, the former New Yorker called Florida “my home.” And Mr. Trump said voters are turning against the House Democrats’ impeachment effort, predicting it will lead to his landslide victory next year.

“You see what’s happening in the polls? A lot of people are saying, ‘That’s really bulls——,’” Mr. Trump said of impeachment. “People don’t like seeing what’s happening. I think it’s a good thing for us as a party. I think it’s going to walk us right through that election.”

The crowd roared its approval and chanted “bulls——!” about impeachment.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis told the president on stage, “Given your change of registration, welcome home to Florida.”

Mr. Trump, who was invited by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to testify at a hearing next week, said Democrats are pursuing the probe because “they know they cannot win the next election.”

“It was totally fine when the crooked Hillary Clinton ran her outrageous pay-to-play schemes out of the State Department,” Mr. Trump said. “But when I have a perfect phone call … with the president of Ukraine, they try to claim it’s an impeachable offense. We did nothing wrong.”

He said of the impeachment hearings, “We had a great two weeks, watching these crooked politicians not giving us due process. Despite that, we won.”

While discussing Democratic front-runner Joseph R. Biden and his son Hunter, Mr. Trump asked a supporter near the stage what he did for a living. The man said he is a bail bondsman.

“Bail bondsman?” the president replied. “Do you know Hunter Biden? Do you know sleepy Joe?”

The rally was the first since Mr. Trump granted pardons and other clemency late last week for three soldiers accused of war crimes, including Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, convicted of posing with the corpse of an Islamic State fighter. The president also insisted on Chief Petty Officer Gallagher keeping his Trident Pin status upon retirement, a controversy that led to the firing Sunday of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.

Mr. Trump also referred to the case of Army Lt. Clint Lorance, who was serving a sentence at Fort Leavenworth for ordering his troops to fire upon two unarmed men in Afghanistan.

“One young man was in jail for seven years — he had 16 more years to go,” Mr. Trump said of Lt. Lorance. “He came out, he hugged his parents, it was a beautiful thing. We’re going to take care of our warriors. People can sit in their air-conditioned offices and complain. It doesn’t matter to me whatsoever. They’re out on that field, and they’re doing a job for us like nobody else anywhere in the world.”

The president also poked fun at the Washington political establishment, saying he has defeated some of the most experienced candidates in the country.

“I beat the Bush dynasty. And we beat the Clinton dynasty,” Mr. Trump said. “And then we beat Barack Hussein Obama, whatever the hell dynasty that is.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide