After yet another busy news week, President Trump hosted a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night for a Republican congressional candidate but spent much of his time talking about his steel tariffs, his political prospects and his new North Korea diplomacy.
"We have to get out and we have to win," Trump told an enthusiastic political rally in an airport hangar at the Pittsburgh airport.
Trump stumped for Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who faces a special election on Tuesday, but he also talked about his own 2020 re-election bid during a meandering speech that lasted more than an hour.
Promoting an issue with special resonance in the mill towns of western Pennsylvania, Trump touted new steel and aluminum tariffs that he said would help areas that have lost industrial jobs for decades.
The president also bragged about his prospective meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and berated predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton for not stopping that nation's nuclear weapons program: "They had their shot and all they did was nothing,"
While urging voters in Pennsylvania to support Saccone, Trump also attacked some of his potential challengers in the 2020 presidential election, as well as the media. He repeatedly referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as "Pocahontas," and described one television news reporter as a "sleeping son of a b----."
Warren, whose mother's family was part Native American, tweeted that community is the target of many crimes, and she wishes Trump "would focus on that rather than making Native people the butt of a joke."
As for reports of a possible candidacy by Oprah Winfrey, Trump said: "I'd love to beat Oprah — I know her weakness." He added that a Winfrey candidacy would be a "painful experience for her."
Previewing a pitch he is likely to make for other Republican congressional candidates in the fall elections, Trump also touted tax cuts, good jobs numbers and the stock market, hailing what he called a "great American comeback."
Trump, whose campaign slogan in 2016 was "Make America Great Again," indicated he would make a similar argument for his own re-election bid in 2020, and he previewed that campaign slogan: "Keep America Great (exclamation point)."
Saccone, a state legislator, is running against Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, for the House seat vacated by Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican who resigned after reports he tried to persuade a mistress to get an abortion.
Even though Trump won the area by more than 20 percentage points two years, the Saccone-Lamb race is considered too close to call.
While praising Saccone — "this guy can really help me" — Trump spent more time attacking Lamb. Although the Democratic candidate supports the steel tariffs and has taken other conservative positions, Trump said he is "weak" on crime and immigration, and would vote the Democratic line in Congress in order to thwart the Trump agenda.
Throughout his speech, Trump riffed on any number of items: how other countries give the death penalty to drug leaders, his plans for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and his fractious relationship with the president of Mexico, and memories of Election Night 2016 ("one of the greatest nights in the history of television.")
He also mentioned first lady Melania Trump, telling the crowd: "You think her life is so easy, folks? Not so easy." (Upon leaving the White House for the rally Saturday, Trump ignored reporters' questions about Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who is suing the president over a hush agreement regarding her claims of an affair.)
While the western Pennsylvania district normally leans Republican, Democrats are confident they can win Tuesday's election, in part because of the controversy surrounding Trump's term in office. They are also confident about winning House and Senate majorities after the national elections in November.
Trump slammed the idea that Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi could again become speaker of the House, and described Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., an African-American, as a "very low I.Q. individual."
In a pre-rally tweet, Trump called Saccone "a really good person" who will "help me a lot" on issues like crime, immigration, gun rights and veteran's health. He predicted a "big & happy crowd (why not, some of the best economic numbers ever)."
Trump spoke two days after the stunning announcement that he has accepted an invitation to meet with Kim about his nuclear weapons program.
While aides pondered details of the meeting — and say it may not happen unless Kim takes affirmative steps — Trump expressed confidence in tweets as well as at the Pennsylvania rally.
"The deal with North Korea is very much in the making and will be, if completed, a very good one for the World," Trump tweeted. "Time and place to be determined."
Speaking with reporters before leaving the White House, Trump cited South Korean claims that North Korea has agreed to stop nuclear testing and is willing to commit to de-nuclearization. "The promise is they wouldn't be shooting off missiles in the meantime, and they're looking to de-nuke," he said.
During the rally, Trump said the South Koreans support his efforts and even credited him with making last month's Winter Olympics a success. "A little hard to sell tickets when you think you're going to be nuked," Trump joked.
While attacking the media for second-guessing his eagerness to meet with Kim, Trump said he will do what he thinks is best..
"Who knows what's going to happen?" Trump said.
Trump also mocked global criticism of the steel and aluminum tariffs he ordered this past week. Critics said other countries will retaliate with tariffs of their own on American products, increasing prices worldwide.
Citing the stock market decline that followed his tariff announcement, Trump said: “Not all of our friends on Wall Street love it, but we love it."
Having campaigned on the tariff issue, Trump said the duties are designed to counter bad trade deals and revive manufacturing jobs that have gone overseas. “Steel is back. And aluminum is back,” he proclaimed.
After inviting Saccone to the stage, the Pennsylvanian sang the president's praises.