President Donald Trump held a rally Thursday evening in West Virginia, a state he won last November with nearly 68% of the vote.
Trump railed against the ongoing investigation into his campaign's alleged ties to the Kremlin.
“The Russia story,” Trump said, “is a total fabrication.” The investigation, led by special counsel Robert Mueller who has reportedly impaneled a grand jury, is “just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics,” the president asserted.
“What the prosecutors should be looking at is Hillary Clinton's 33,000 deleted emails,” he said to a thunderous applause.
Thank you West Virginia! All across the country, Americans of every kind are coming together w/one simple goal: to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/thRh7htVbH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2017
Conservative political commentator Charles Krauthammer called the crowd's reaction to Trump's speech proof that the president still has a “formidable army” of supporters.
“Here’s a guy whose numbers are down in the 30s,” Krauthammer said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“He’s got this grand jury, reports of a grand jury being convened, he’s got the walls kind of closing in on him in Washington. And here he’s going out into the country and saying, ‘These are my people. These are real people. Forget about the numbers. Forget about the chatter in Washington. Forget about the stories about Russia.'"
In Huntington, a city of about 48,000 that borders southern Ohio and is a short drive from northeastern Kentucky, Trump told those gathered, “We didn't win because of Russia. We won because of you.” Trump won Cabell County with about 59% of the vote.
Krauthammer explained, “I think this appearance ... is a way of [Trump] saying, 'My numbers may be down but I command a formidable army.'"
Brushing aside the national media's scrutiny some 400 miles from Washington, D.C., the president declared that his agenda is “for all of the people, especially for the tens of millions of forgotten Americans” who “aren't forgotten anymore.”