SUNRISE, Fla. – President Donald Trump held a “homecoming” rally in South Florida ahead of spending Thanksgiving at his resort in Mar-a-Lago.
The campaign-style rally for the Republican president began at 7 p.m., but crowds began arriving outside the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida much earlier in the day.
During the rally, President Trump slammed the news media while telling the audience that the impeachment inquiry went quite well for him during the past two weeks.
Trump discussed the hearings held by the House intelligence panel, which is looking at whether Trump leveraged his office for personal political gain.
Trump told the crowd, "We won these last two weeks so solidly," but added anyone who read The New York Times or The Washington Post "would have no idea we won."
The president spent much of his rally railing against Democrats, accusing them of “trying to rip our nation apart” with investigations.
“First it was the Russia hoax,” Trump said, “and now the same maniacs are pushing the deranged ... impeachment” narrative.
He insisted yet again that he had done nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and argued anew that Democrats are only trying to take him down because “they know that they cannot win the next election.”
“You see what’s happening in the polls? Everybody said, ‘That’s really bulls---,’” Trump said, prompting a chant of the profanity to erupt from the crowd.
Trump says the impeachment inquiry will help Republicans in 2020, adding, “I think it’s going to just walk us right through that election.”
The rally was Trump’s first in Florida since he officially changed his residency last month from Trump Tower in New York to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.
“Welcome home to Florida,” Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican governor, told him.
Outside the event, anti-Trump protesters held signs and chanted about impeaching the president.
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz joined the rally, as did the well-known Baby Trump Balloon that has made appearances across the globe.
Florida will be a crucial state for Trump as he tries to replicate his 2016 victory. He carried it by less than 2 percentage points then, defying expectations and paving the way to an electoral college victory.
“Less than one year from now I will join voters across the Sunshine State, my home, as we head to the polls,” Trump told the crowd, predicting rosily that, “together, we will win back the House, we will hold the Senate and we will keep that beautiful, beautiful White House.”