Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, was found guilty on Tuesday of eight federal felony charges. Also on Tuesday, Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes, including paying hush money to women during the 2016 campaign. Cohen said he was “directed” to make those payments by Trump.
Having two members of one’s inner circle get convicted or plead guilty to federal crimes in one week, let alone on the same day, is probably a topic a person, or president of the United States, would prefer to avoid.
Which is exactly what Trump did at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on Tuesday night in support of Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey. Trump ignored the fates of Manafort and Cohen — but did cover some of his personal favorite topics: the NFL, trade deals, tax cuts. He even managed to get a solid “lock her up!” chant in for good measure.
Without further ado, here is a (partial) list of some of the things Trump chose to talk about at the rally instead of Manafort and Cohen:
- Democrats and “their new leader, Maxine Waters”
- His “great record of endorsements” and how a Trump endorsement is better than an endorsement from Ronald Reagan (who died in 2004)
- US immigration laws (and how they’re “such a disgrace”)
- A story about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “speaking to a room loaded with socialists and probably others.” (Someone in the audience yelled, “Communists,” to which Trump responded, “No, not communists. But there could have been a couple of them, too.”)
- How coal is “indestructible,” whereas “you can blow up” windmills and pipelines “in times of war”
- Fake news
- Border security and human trafficking
- The Paris climate agreement
- How many Chevrolets there are in the middle of Berlin
- How much he loves real estate
- That fact that “we have great reform” but that “nobody knows what it means”
- Social media censorship (“You can’t have censorship. You can’t pick one person and say, ‘He’s out.’”)
- How no one will be able to vote against Supreme Court nominee Justice Brett Kavanaugh because he looks like “very tough central casting” (Trump has said many times that he takes into consideration whether people “look the part” when deciding on whom to appoint to various positions)
- That he has “a lot more money” and “a much better education” than the so-called “elites”: “I’m smarter than they are, I have many much more beautiful homes than they do, I have a better apartment at the top of Fifth Avenue. Why the hell are they the elite, tell me? You are the elite.”
- Space Force
- How much a Camaro costs in Beijing
- How long to cook a turkey and/or a chicken: “It has to gestate. It is like when you’re cooking a chicken. Time, time. Turkey for Thanksgiving. My mother would say, ‘eight hours.’ I said, ‘eight hours?’ She made the greatest turkey I ever had. Takes time.”
- Elton John
There was a lot more he talked about. He did briefly mention the “Russian witch hunt” (“Where is the collusion? You know, they are still looking for collusion. Where is collusion? Find the collusion. We want to find the collusion.”) But he never once — in the entire 1.5-plus-hour rally — said anything about Paul Manafort’s conviction or Michael Cohen’s guilty plea.