Trump mocks 'Da Nang Blumenthal,' top Dems in fiery Tennessee rally supporting Kavanaugh, Blackburn

In an wide-ranging, combative rally Monday night in Tennesee, President Trump, in no uncertain personal terms, derided Democrats as shameless hypocrites for questioning the integrity of his embattled Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

The event capped a whirlwind day for Trump, who announced a historic new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and authorized an expanded FBI probe of Kavanaugh's background.

Just hours after he cryptically said in the Rose Garden that he had "somewhat compromising" information about a certain "aggressive" Democratic senator in some "very bad situations," Trump took aim at some members of the Judiciary Committee who grilled Kavanaugh at a dramatic, nationally televised hearing Thursday.

"You have the great Vietnam War hero -- who didn't go to Vietnam -- [Sen. Richard] Blumenthal," Trump said, referring to the Connecticut Democratic senator, who repeatedly and falsely suggested he had served on the ground in Vietnam. "How about Blumenthal? We call him 'Da Nang Blumenthal.'"

Blumenthal had said last week that Trump's initial reluctance to order the now-ongoing supplemental background probe of Kavanaugh was "tantamount to a cover-up." He quizzed Kavanaugh during Thursday's hearing on everything from the high court nominee's high school yearbook entries to his drinking habits.

"For 15 years as the attorney general of Connecticut, he went around telling war stories," Trump told the crowd. "'People dying left and right -- but my plattoon marched forward!' He was never in Vietnam. It was a lie. And then he's up there saying, 'We want the truth from Judge Kavanaugh.' And you're getting the truth from Judge Kavanaugh."


"And then you have Cory Booker -- who destroyed Newark," Trump continued, describing the New Jersey senator. "And see some of the things he wrote when he was young about women. Take a look."

Booker, a Democrat, once wrote an article detailing an instance where he twice reached for a woman's breast without her apparent consent in 1992, saying the 'Top Gun' slogan was ringing in his head as he went in for a "groping." The New Jersey senator compared himself to the gladiator Spartacus last month and is widely considered a 2020 presidential contender.

Trump also mocked former Vice President Joe Biden, saying that no one paid attention to him before former President Barack Obama lifted him from the "trash heap" of limited support his own presidential bid received.

Trump was campaigning in Johnson City, Tennessee, on behalf of GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is competing in a neck-and-neck race for retiring Sen. Bob Corker's seat along with ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.

Trump won Tennessee by 26 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election, and he remains popular in the Volunteer State.


Corker, who recently announced his support for Kavanaugh, has sparred with Trump frequently and publicly, and even compared his supporters to cultists. The president, in return, has referred to the senator derisively as "Liddle Bob," although the two reportedly have mended some fences. Trump also took a shot at Sen.Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., calling her a "disaster" and citing polls showing her slipping behind in her upcoming election in the wake of her announced opposition to Kavanaugh.

According to a Fox News poll conducted in September, Blackburn has the support of 47 percent of likely voters in the state, compared to Bredesen’s 44 percent. Her three-point advantage is within the poll’s margin of error.

The economy is the top concern for Tennessee likely voters, the poll showed. Twenty-nine percent say that will be most important to their vote for Senate, followed closely by 27 percent who say it will be health care. Economy voters pick Blackburn (+9), while those prioritizing health care go heavily for Bredesen (+35).

Those and other hot-button issues -- including his breakthrough deal with Canada and Mexico, the improving economy, and the rise of insurgent Democratic socialist candidates -- were also front-and-center Monday night.


"The Democrats want to turn America into Venezuela," Trump said. He also previewed a potential new line of attack heading into November's midterm elections, calling the Democratic Party the "party of crime."

"Every day, innocent lives are stolen because of Democrat-supported immigration policies," Trump said. "Republicans believe America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens."

Despite his focus on the midterms, Trump evidently had yet another election on his mind. Responding to recent suggestions by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that she would run for president in 2020, Trump told her to "please, please run."

"The Democrats can no longer be trusted with your power," Trump said, charging that they have "moved so far left that Pocahontas is considered a conservative." Trump frequently refers to Warren as "Pocahontas" because she had indicated that she had Native American ancestry earlier in her career, which critics said helped her obtain a prestigious teaching position at Harvard Law School. Warren has provided little evidence for her claim, but there is similarly no definitive evidence that Warren's claims helped her get the job.

Trump, in closing, urged attendees in the room and those watching at home to take stock of the country's "unlimited promise," as well as the significant economic gains realized under his administration -- and he exhorted voters to avoid what he called the "repression" of misleading polls.

"To every citizen watching all across the land ... this is your time to choose. This is your time. It's the time to choose whether we turn backward to the failure and frustration of the past. Look at what we've done in far less than two years," Trump said. "It is not up to the media to decide our fate. It is not up to the pollsters or the pundits."

Fox News' Alex Pappas, Dana Blanton and Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report