Trump plans campaign rally for day of Mueller’s testimony

PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Aaron Bessant Amphitheater on May 8, 2019 in Panama City Beach, Florida. In his continuing battle with Congress over the release of Robert Mueller’s unredacted report, today President Trump asserted executive privilege to block its release from public view. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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President Donald Trump plans to hold a “Keep America Great” reelection campaign rally on the same day that former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify before the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

According to the president’s official website, the Greenville, North Carolina campaign rally is slated to start on July 17 at 7:00 pm, only hours after Mueller’s will have testified to Congress.

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“President Trump looks forward to returning to North Carolina and sharing the successes of the Trump presidency,” Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of Trump’s 2020 campaign, reportedly said in a statement this week.

“North Carolina has one of the hottest economies in the nation, and that is directly attributable to the pro-growth, deregulatory policies of this administration. With one of the largest military populations in the nation, President Trump is eager to talk directly to the military men and women who have made this country the greatest on earth.”

What remains unclear is whether the president purposefully scheduled the rally on the same day that Mueller’s slated to testify. The evidence suggests he did.

Word of the special counsel’s plans to testify broke on June 25. At the time, the North Carolina rally was not listed on the “Events” page of the president’s website, according to records maintained by the Wayback Machine:

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The page remained looking exactly like this up until either July 2nd or July 3rd, when the North Carolina rally was suddenly added for reasons that remain unclear:

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Why might the president have purposefully scheduled the rally to occur only hours after Mueller’s testimony? One possibility is that he just wants to troll Democrats.

In a tweet posted Tuesday, the president wondered aloud why Mueller “is being asked to testify yet again,” given that his own investigation has already concluded, his own report has already been submitted and he, the president, has already been effectively exonerated.

“Robert Mueller is being asked to testify yet again,” he wrote. “He said he could only stick to the Report, & that is what he would and must do. After so much testimony & total transparency, this Witch Hunt must now end. No more Do Overs. No Collusion, No Obstruction. The Great Hoax is dead!”

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

The president has maintained that the Democrats’ investigations into Russian collusion and obstruction of justice are essentially “Do Overs.” For years they claimed that Mueller’s ruling would be the final call — that they’d abide by whatever he ultimately concluded.

In a report submitted four months ago, the special counsel effectively acquitted the president of Russian collusion but left the obstruction of justice decision up to his superiors.

After reviewing the report for roughly a month, Attorney General Bill Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went ahead and acquitted Trump on obstruction as well.

Despite these rulings, the Democrats continue to clamor about collusion and obstruction. Their hope now is that by haranguing Mueller with questions on the 17th, they can locate the missing, obscure key needed to move ahead with the president’s impeachment.

Of course, none of this definitely proves that the president purposefully scheduled the rally on July 17th to spite Democrats, especially given North Carolina’s importance in the 2020 race.

“Beyond a presidential battleground, North Carolina is also home to one of the most widely watched Senate races in 2020, as Sen. Thom Tillis (R) seeks to win a second term in the upper chamber,” The Hill notes. “Trump endorsed Tillis late last month.”

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

Vivek Saxena

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