TRUMP v OBAMA

Trump tells rally he may face impeachment if party loses

US President Donald Trump at a rally in Billings, Montana on Thursday to support Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. His own future was on his mind as Mr Trump called for support for GOP candidates, su
US President Donald Trump at a rally in Billings, Montana on Thursday to support Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Jon Tester. His own future was on his mind as Mr Trump called for support for GOP candidates, suggesting impeachment could come about depending on which party controls Congress. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hit by recent back-to-back attacks on his competence as US President, Donald Trump saw another brickbat thrown his way from his predecessor Barack Obama, who delivered a caustic assessment of his performance. The discord that is set to get uglier between the two titans of American politics signals a dramatic escalation ahead of November's battle between their parties for the House, Senate and other positions.

BILLINGS (Montana) • US President Donald Trump has raised the prospect that he could face impeachment if the Republicans lose control of Congress, imploring supporters at a campaign rally here to back GOP candidates in the midterm elections.

"You aren't voting for a candidate, you're voting for which party controls Congress. It's a very important thing," Mr Trump said on Thursday. "They like to use the impeach word. 'Impeach Trump!'... 'But he hasn't done anything wrong.' Doesn't matter, we will impeach him!"

The President's riff came after days of mounting pressure on the White House over leaks from inside the administration that have deeply embarrassed the President over questions raised about his competence from his own aides and political appointees.

In the wake of a critical new book from journalist Bob Woodward and an anonymous opinion essay in the New York Times, Mr Trump has grown increasingly angry and paranoid over a feeling his own staff has betrayed him.

As he has over the past two days on several occasions, Mr Trump again attacked the Times' essay as "gutless" during his rally in Montana and challenged Times reporters to discover which senior official inside his administration was granted anonymity to author the essay.

But it was his own future that was clearly on his mind.

"I say how do you impeach somebody who is doing a great job, hasn't done anything wrong. Our economy is good. How do you do it?" Mr Trump asked. "It's a hell of a place in Washington."

The rally - in support of GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, Montana's state auditor who is challenging Democratic incumbent Jon Tester - was Mr Trump's first campaign event after Labour Day, as he enters an active stretch before the November midterms.

'I FELL ASLEEP'

I'm sorry I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he's (Obama) very good. Very good for sleeping.

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, responding to Mr Obama's speech.

 
 

White House aides have said the President will hold multiple campaign events most weeks before voters head to the polls on Nov 6.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats are urging their core supporters to get to the polls for the elections, when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate to gain majorities in Congress and slam the brakes on Mr Trump's agenda.

Former president Barack Obama on Friday urged Democrats to deliver a check on the administration's "abuses of power" and restore a sense of sanity to politics by voting in November's elections.

In an unusually blistering attack on his successor, Mr Obama ridiculed Mr Trump for taking credit for economic gains that began under Mr Obama's administration.

Mr Trump wasted no time in responding. Speaking to supporters at a fundraiser in Fargo, North Dakota, he dismissed Mr Obama's speech. "I'm sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep," he said. "I found he's very good, very good for sleeping."

THE WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 09, 2018, with the headline 'Trump tells rally he may face impeachment if party loses'. Print Edition | Subscribe