Rain pour­ing, Trump rages on Twit­ter and hangs with bik­ers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Jill Colvin and Jeff Horwitz

As rain dumped on his New Jersey golf club, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump raged on Satur­day, lash­ing out at his Jus­tice De­part­ment on Twit­ter be­fore wel­com­ing mem­bers of a “Bik­ers for Trump” fan group to the man­i­cured grounds.

Dozens and dozens of gleam­ing Har­leys, Hon­das and other mo­tor­cy­cles de­scended on the cen­tral New Jersey prop­erty for what had been billed as an out­door photo-op with Trump. But pour­ing rain and flash-flood warn­ings scram­bled the plan, send­ing soggy bik­ers in­side a crys­tal-chan­de­liered club house ball­room, where Trump signed au­to­graphs and posed for self­ies and his guests booed re­porters.

It was a clas­sic, chaotic Trump scene rem­i­nis­cent of his ram­shackle early cam­paign. The pres­i­dent was con­tin­u­ing an ex­tended work­ing va­ca­tion away from Wash­ing­ton.

The day be­gan on Twit­ter at 8:36 a.m. with a broad­side against the FBI, which Trump ac­cused of stonewalling a pub­lic records re­quest for for­mer Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral An­drew McCabe’s text mes­sages.

“What are they hid­ing?” the pres­i­dent asked, threat­en­ing that he “may have to get in­volved” per­son­ally in in­ter­nal FBI busi­ness and warn­ing, “DO NOT DE­STROY.”

Trump ap­peared in a bet­ter mood when he greeted the bik­ers, who chanted “Four more years!” and “USA!” as he en­tered the ball­room. Rain streamed down the win­dows and pools formed on the empty golf greens out­side.

He quickly pointed out the sop­ping-wet me­dia, which sparked jeers and calls to “tell the truth.” And he thanked the group, say­ing they’d been with him since the be­gin­ning and call­ing their mo­tor­cy­cles “the most beau­ti­ful bikes any­one’s ever seen.”

He later walked into the crowd of sup­port­ers, shak­ing hands, pos­ing for self­ies and sign­ing au­to­graph.

At one point, Trump re­turned to the podium to poll those in the crowd on their views of the press, prompt­ing more jeers. One joked that the press pool should be thrown out in the rain.

The pres­i­dent largely ig­nored re­porters’ shouted ques­tions, ex­cept for one about for­mer White House ad­viser and re­al­ity star Omarosa Mani­gault New­man and her new book, which in­cludes scan­dalous — and of­ten un­sup­ported — ac­cu­sa­tions against Trump.

The pres­i­dent leaned over and cupped his hand around his mouth as if to whisper.

“Lowlife. She’s a lowlife,” Trump said.

He ig­nored a ques­tion about on­go­ing trade ne­go­ti­a­tions with Mex­ico, which prompted some in the crowd to shout, “Build the wall!”

The White House had said about 180 bik­ers would be at­tend­ing the event, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary veter­ans and mem­bers of law en­force­ment agen­cies, as well as mem­bers of the New Jersey chap­ter of Bik­ers for Trump, whose mem­bers fre­quently at­tended Trump’s cam­paign ral­lies, some­times fac­ing off with anti-Trump pro­test­ers.

Later, when the rain had eased, Trump walked out­side the res­i­dence, where the bik­ers had gath­ered with their mo­tor­cy­cles on the drive. He posed for more pic­tures, stood for the Pledge of Al­liance and urged the bik­ers to rev their en­gines.

“Let’s hear those en­gines now,” he called out, ges­tur­ing for them to go louder as the mo­tors roared.

Ear­lier in the day, Trump’s wrath poured down on At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions and the pres­i­dent’s al­leged en­e­mies in the FBI, in­clud­ing ex-FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, McCabe and Peter Str­zok, an FBI agent who was re­moved from Robert Mueller’s probe of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion af­ter Mueller learned he’d ex­pressed dis­taste for Trump in per­sonal text mes­sages.

Trump branded them all “clowns and losers” who had hurt “So many of the great men and women of the FBI.”

Trump also re­vived his fre­quent at­tacks on Ses­sions, call­ing him “scared stiff and Miss­ing in Ac­tion.” He crit­i­cized Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bruce Ohr, who served as the ini­tial DOJ con­tact for Chris Steele, the for­mer British in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer com­mis­sioned by an Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal re­search firm to ex­plore Trump’s al­leged ties with the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment.

Trump marked the oneyear an­niver­sary of deadly clashes in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, with a tweet say­ing he con­demns “all types of racism and acts of vi­o­lence.”

Last year, Trump said there was “blame on both sides” for the vi­o­lence that broke out when white na­tion­al­ists de­scended on Char­lottesville to protest the re­moval of Con­fed­er­ate statutes and marched through town shout­ing racist slurs. Trump said then that the group in­cluded “fine peo­ple.”

In Satur­day’s tweet, Trump said the “ri­ots in Char­lottesville a year ago re­sulted in sense­less death and di­vi­sion.”

“We must come to­gether as a na­tion. I con­demn all types of racism and acts of vi­o­lence. Peace to ALL Amer­i­cans!” he wrote.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stands in the rain with mem­bers of Bik­ers for Trump and sup­port­ers af­ter say­ing the Pledge of Al­le­giance, Satur­day at the club­house of Trump Na­tional Golf Club in Bed­min­ster, N.J.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is cheered by mem­bers of Bik­ers for Trump and sup­port­ers Satur­day at the club­house of Trump Na­tional Golf Club in Bed­min­ster, N.J.

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