Trump goes on the attack
Arriving at a West Star Aviation hangar at Grand Junction Regional Airport to the theme song of the Harrison Ford movie, “Air Force One,” Donald Trump gave supporters plenty of red meat to chew on Tuesday while also proposing a package of ethics reforms he claimed would clean up corruption in the nation’s capital.
The Republican nominee for the White House spent much of his roughly 50-minute address to thousands of backers repeating verbal attacks he’s launched at other campaign stops against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the media.
“Almost as corrupt as crooked Hillary is the media right back there,” Trump said, pointing to the television cameras at the back of the hangar. “(The polls) say we’re tied. I don’t think we’re tied. One says we’re two up, one says we’re four up, one says we were six or seven down. That was the one that they show on television. They don’t show the other ones. These people ...”
At one point, he accused the media of possibly being more dishonest than Clinton.
“They want to cover fictitious stories about me,” he said. “Wikileaks has provided things that are unbelievable. The media, you have to remember, is an extension of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Without that, she would be nowhere. The press has created a rigged system and poisoned the minds of the voters.”
While on the one hand he criticized the media, Trump simultaneously pointed to a Wall Street Journal story on Monday about a retired general pleading guilty in federal court to lying to investigators who were probing leaks made to reporters about a secret program to hack Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
That case involved four-star Gen. James Cartwright, who was questioned by the FBI in 2012 for confirming classified information about Iran’s nuclear program. Cartwright on Monday pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and faces a punishment that could range from a $500 fine to six months in prison, according to The New York Times.
Trump said that wasn’t as bad as what Clinton did when she used a private computer server, and then destroyed thousands of emails that were to be turned over to federal investigators.
“This is a tiny fraction of what (Clinton) did,” Trump said. “This is so disgraceful. She shouldn’t be allowed to run for the office. This is many times worse than Watergate, and we’re going to put an end to it.”
In another part of the speech, Trump said he would end government corruption, in part, by cleaning up the Washington, D.C., “swamp.”
The GOP nominee said he would implement several ethics reforms in government policy, including barring executive branch workers from working as lobbyists for at least five years after leaving government service, and a lifetime ban on senior officials.
Trump also said he would get Congress to introduce a new law to ban former congressional members and their staff from becoming lobbyists, approve new campaign finance laws that bar foreign lobbyists from raising money in U.S. elections, and expand the definition of lobbyist to close all loopholes.
“Former government officials label themselves consultants and advisers when we all know they are just lobbyists, right?” he said. “If I’m elected president, I will push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress. I’m proposing term limits of six years for members of the House and 12 years for a member of the Senate.”
Trump also said he would fix U.S. trade deals with other nations, lower corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent, bring back U.S. jobs, build the wall — “and Mexico is going to pay for it” — and keep “radial Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.”
He painted in broad strokes on several issues that resonate with many Western Slope residents, telling them he would roll back Environmental Protection Agency regulations, put miners back to work and protect Second Amendment rights.
Early in the speech, Trump urged people to cast their ballots on Nov. 8, or earlier if possible.
“Early voting is, what, the 24th? Is it the 24th? Yes,” Trump said. Ballots were mailed on Monday and voters should be getting them as early as today. “So do the early voting if you can, but definitely Nov. 8.
“Either we win this election, or we lose the country.”
The event attracted thousands of people, but an exact number was not available. Grand Junction police officer David Keech told reporters that the fire marshal ordered that no more than 2,000 people be allowed inside the hangar, with another 2,000 on the tarmac just outside, though Keech said, “I don’t think they got there.”
Still, there were large numbers of late-arrivers who were barred entry because the venue had reached the maximum. Keech said officers were told that about 5,000 tickets were issued for the event.
Trump arrived in Grand Junction late Tuesday afternoon after addressing supporters in Colorado Springs earlier in the day. He then flew to Las Vegas for tonight’s third and final presidential debate.
As Trump was leaving the rally, the final song that played over the loud speakers was the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”