As Democrats lined up their last night pitches for their Tuesday primaries, President Donald Trump sought to steal the show with a crowded Southern New Hampshire University arena with a campaign rally of his own Monday night.
"We have more in this arena and outside of this arena, than all of the other candidates, meaning the Democrats, put together and multiplied times five," Trump told this rally. "And the fake news, these guys, will never report that. They'll never report that.
"They don't even like showing the crowd. They only show my face. The never show the crowd, but you know what? The people can hear the crowd."
The crowd cheered in approval, particularly as Trump trolled the size of other Democratic primary candidates' crowds.
"That is not the sound of 200 people," Trump lauded. "One of their prime candidates today, they worked a big deal, they had exactly 104 people. And the fake news said, 'it was a nice crowd. Very nice'
"If I had one empty seat in this massive arena, they'd say, 'he didn't sell out,'" he continued. "But you know what? We have never had an empty seat from the day your future first lady and I came down the escalator."
Trump, on a high after his acquittal last week on impeachment charges, launched an assault on the Democrats who tried to remove him from office, calling the episode a "pathetic partisan crusade."
"Our good Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to reject the outrageous partisan impeachment hoax and to issue a full, complete and absolute total acquittal," Trump said. "And it wasn't even close.”
Trump's rally comes a day before New Hampshire Democrats head to the polls following the disastrous Iowa caucuses that failed to produce a clear-cut winner to take Trump on in November. Trump mocked the lingering uncertainty over the outcome of the party's kickoff caucuses, where the results are still under dispute.
"Does anyone know who won Iowa?" he asked the crowd. "I don't know."
Before leaving Washington, Trump said he had planned the rally to rattle Democrats and demonstrate his strength in the state before the primary vote.
"Want to shake up the Dems a little bit – they have a really boring deal going on. Still waiting for the Iowa results, votes were fried. Big crowds in Manchester!"
It's a tried-and-tested tactic for Trump: Scheduling counter-programming to divert attention from Democratic debates and other major moments, keeping him in the spotlight and building supporters' enthusiasm in the months before Election Day.
"As we keep on winning, Washington Democrats keep," Trump said, pausing before adding, "losing their minds."
Trump continued to celebrate the Senate's acquittal decision, lacing into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her performance during his State of the Union address last week.
"I had somebody behind me who was mumbling terribly, mumbling, mumbling," Trump complained, calling it "very distracting, very distracting."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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