BOSSIER CITY, La. -- President Donald Trump on Thursday night used a political rally in Louisiana, billed as a late-race assist to the Republican candidate for governor, to blast the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, insulting House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff and citing a conservative website to show he has done nothing wrong.
"While we are creating jobs and killing terrorists, the radical left -- Democrats -- are ripping our country apart," Trump said to boos from the crowd inside the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. He later accused Democrats of trying to "sabotage our democracy."
Trump went after "small-necked" Schiff, trying to paint the California Democrat as physically and intellectually tiny. "What size shirt do you need?" the president said, mimicking a tailor talking to Schiff, whom Trump said would reply: "Um, Size 9."
Trump framed the impeachment probe as Democrats trying to "destroy" the country, accusing them of "trying to overthrow the last election because they know they're not going to win the next election." Democrats, however, say the president tried to bribe Ukraine's new president with military aid and a White House meeting in return for a public declaration he would investigate Democrats.
"They're crazy," Trump said of Democrats before reading from a story from the conservative Daily Wire that he said should exonerate him.
The report began this way: "Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Thursday that the United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did not link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden."
With another public impeachment hearing slated for Friday morning, Trump touted his "great group of Republicans." Though Democrats appear to have ample votes in the House to impeach him, no Senate Republican has yet to support the president's removal at the end of a possible trial in that chamber.
Trump was not briefed by senior aides about the House Democrats' first public impeachment hearing Wednesday and did not watch it in full after he wrapped his workday, a White House official said Thursday.
"This was more than a win for the president. It was a win for the American people. Why? Because we're one step closer to getting this whole sham ... behind us. These hearings now prove the president's done nothing wrong. And the Democrats know it," said the official, granted anonymity to speak candidly.
Thursday's trip was Trump's third to Louisiana in a little over a month as Republicans trying to flip the governor's mansion in a state the president carried by 20 points in 2016.