Trump rally crowd chants ‘Lock her up!’ about Fe­in­stein

The Mercury News - - News - By Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller

COUN­CIL BLUFFS, IOWA >> Chants of “Lock her up!” rang once again through­out an Iowa arena as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ral­lied sup­port­ers Tues­day night.

But this time, the sta­ple of Trump’s 2016 cam­paign against Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton had a new tar­get: Cal­i­for­nia Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein.

Trump, who was in the state boost­ing Repub­li­can can­di­dates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elec­tions, claimed that Fe­in­stein, the rank­ing Demo­cratic mem­ber of the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, had leaked a let­ter writ­ten by Cal­i­for­nia pro­fes­sor Chris­tine Blasey Ford al­leg­ing Supreme Court Jus­tice Brett Ka­vanaugh had sex­u­ally as­saulted her when they were teenagers. Fe­in­stein has de­nied her of­fice was the source of the leak.

“Can you be­lieve that?” Trump said, as his sup­port­ers turned the chant once de­ployed against the for­mer sec­re­tary of state on an­other Demo­cratic woman.

“Did she leak that? 100 per­cent,” Trump said, adding: “I don’t want to get sued, so 99 per­cent.”

In a state­ment, Fe­in­stein called Trump’s re­marks “ridicu­lous and an em­bar­rass­ment.”

Ford had sought to re­main anony­mous when she brought the al­le­ga­tion against Ka­vanaugh to Fe­in­stein’s at­ten­tion. She later went pub­lic af­ter re­porters started try­ing to con­tact her. Ka­vanaugh staunchly de­nied Ford’s ac­cu­sa­tion.

“Dr. Blasey Ford knows I kept her con­fi­dence, she and her lawyers said so re­peat­edly,” Fe­in­stein said. “Repub­li­can se­na­tors ad­mit it. Even the re­porter who broke the story said it wasn’t me or my staff.”

Ethanol change

Trump also rolled out new fuel stan­dards that will be a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater ethanol sales. The long-ex­pected change will lift the fed­eral ban on sum­mer sales of gaso­line with high-ethanol blends and al­low them year-round. The EPA cur­rently bans the high-ethanol blend, called E15, dur­ing the sum­mer be­cause of con­cerns that it con­trib­utes to smog on hot days. Ethanol in­dus­try ad­vo­cates say that fear is un­founded.

Speak­ing to a crowd of thou­sands, Trump said he was de­liv­er­ing a prom­ise he’d made to Iowa vot­ers years ago when he cam­paigned ahead of the state’s cau­cuses.

“Prom­ises made, prom­ises kept,” he said. He charged with­out of­fer­ing ev­i­dence that if Democrats take con­trol of Congress next month, they will seek to roll back his ef­forts.

The move was also seen as a re­ward for Repub­li­can Sen. Chuck Grass­ley of Iowa, the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee chair­man who led Ka­vanaugh’s con­tentious but suc­cess­ful con­fir­ma­tion fight. Trump praised Grass­ley on Tues­day night as a “tough cookie.”

NATI HARNIK — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ac­knowl­edges the crowd at a rally in Coun­cil Bluffs, Iowa, Tues­day.

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