President Trump speaks at Mississippi rally

By Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 7:33 a.m. ET, October 3, 2018
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9:15 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

Our live coverage of President Trump's rally has ended. Stick with CNN Politics for more.

8:55 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

Trump calls the midterms a referendum on him: "Pretend I’m on the ballot"

From CNN's Bonney Kapp

President Trump, painting the midterms in personal terms, told supporters tonight "Pretend I’m on the ballot," saying "this is also a referendum about me."

"We need more Republican votes," he told the rally in Southaven, Mississippi. . Citing the thin GOP majority in Congress he said, “if somebody has a cold and stays home, we don’t have a majority. That’s how bad it is."

Trump claimed if he was in the ticket, everyone would vote and it would be a landslide. He observed, "I’m not in the ticket. But I am on the ticket, because this is also a referendum about me."

He added, "I want you to vote. Pretend I’m on the ballot. And don’t worry, we’ll be on the ballot in two years and we will do a landslide again."

8:46 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

President Trump on Kavanaugh: "I don’t even know him....It’s not like I want to protect my friend."

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump, while attempting to make a case that Brett Kavanaugh was a deserving nominee, told a rally tonight in Mississippi, “I don’t even know him. I met him for the first time a few weeks ago. It’s not like I want to protect my friend.”

8:35 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

After mocking Ford, Trump tells rally: "Think of your son. Think of your husband."

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump continued his line of argument that men are under attack in America, not once mentioning accusers or victims of sexual assault — or daughters, of which he has two.

“Think of your son. Think of your husband,” Trump said, noting that he, too, has had “many false allegations” against him. 

He launched into a riff about a young man who got a job “at IBM or General Motors,” but is falsely accused. “What do I do Mom? What do I do Mom?” Trump said, role-playing a conversation between a son and mother.

“It’s a damn sad situation,” Trump said.

This comes after Trump said earlier in the day at the White House: “it’s a very scary time for young men in America.” 

9:18 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault testimony at Mississippi rally 

From CNN's Allison Malloy

President Donald Trump for the first time directly mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a rally in Mississippi, casting doubt on her testimony about her alleged sexual assault.

Trump imitated Ford during her testimony before the crowd, mocking her for not knowing the answer to questions such as how she got to the party. 

“'I had one beer.' Well do you think it was… 'Nope. It was one beer.' Oh good. How did you get home? 'I don’t remember.' How did you get there? 'I don’t remember.' Where is the place? 'I don’t remember.' How many years ago was it? 'I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.'"

The crowd began to cheer and laugh, as the President continued imitating Ford recounting the night she says she was nearly raped.

"What neighborhood was it in? 'I don’t know.' Where’s the house? 'I don’t know. Upstairs. Downstairs. I don’t know. But I had one beer that’s the only thing I remember,'" Trump continued.

"And a man’s life is in tatters," Trump said. "A man’s life is shattered."

Trump then called Democrats against Kavanaugh “evil people” who are out to “destroy people.”

Trump also reiterated his earlier claims Tuesday that nowadays you are “guilty until proven innocent.”


8:15 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

Trump rally crowd chants, "We want Kavanaugh!"

President Trump said Democrats were trying to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh, prompting an extended "We want Kavanaugh!" chant from the Mississippi crowd.

8:03 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

NOW: Trump holds rally in Mississippi

President Trump just took the stage at his rally in Southaven, Mississippi, to chants of "USA! USA!" He told the crowd 2020 was looking to be easy, then launched into a list of his accomplishments, touching on the economy, veterans and America's military.

7:40 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

Just 24 hours ago, here's how Trump's last rally played out


President Trump held a rally in Tennessee last night. He was there to stump for GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running for race against Democrat Phil Bredesen.

Here's what happened:

  • He started with the economy: President Trump opened his remarks in Tennessee touting the success of the US economy and the record stock market. 
  • Then, he attacked Democrats: President Trump declared that "Democrats are the party of crime," saying they support open borders. 
  • He defended Kavanaugh: Trump said his Supreme Court nominee "is a good man, great student, great intellect." He also criticized the allegations against him: "All of a sudden let's go back to high school." 
  • He stumped for Blackburn: Trump declared, "She is all about Tennessee values. She has Tennessee values. A vote for Marsha is a vote for me, and everything we stand for and a vote to make America great again."  

7:14 p.m. ET, October 2, 2018

5 things Trump could bring up at tonight's rally

Trump arrives to speak during a rally in Tennessee on Monday
Trump arrives to speak during a rally in Tennessee on Monday MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is in Southaven, Mississippi, for his second rally of the week. He held an event in Tennessee last night, and he'll have more on Thursday and Saturday in Minnesota and Kansas, respectively.

Trump's week of rallies comes as news in Washington centers around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and trade deals.

Here are some topics the President might bring up tonight:

  • Brett Kavanaugh: The President has repeatedly and vocally defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is under FBI investigation after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman when they were both in high school. He'll likely continue his support for Kavanaugh tonight.
  • Senate Democrats: In the wake of the Kavanaugh investigation, Trump has blamed the Democrats for delaying his conformation process and has attacked them for their "anger" toward the judge. Watch for Trump to keep up that criticism.
  • Trade: President Trump announced a three-country trade agreement with Mexico and Canada yesterday. He might talk about it and the intensive negotiations it took to seal the deal.
  • The first lady's solo trip: Melania Trump is in Africa this week, visiting Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. Trump, speaking to reporters this afternoon, said her trip is going well, and he could give more details about it tonight.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize: The 2018 honor will be awarded on Friday. We're not sure if Trump will get it — but he's certainly talked about receiving it.