On Monday night, Donald Trump appeared in Lexington, Kentucky, to hold a campaign rally for Republican Governor Matt Bevin, a close Trump ally. In his speech at the rally, Trump shifted the focus to himself, as if he were on the ballot. According to NBC News, Trump told his supporters that if they could not bring him a Bevin victory, “they are going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world.”
But on Tuesday, Bevin did indeed lose the hotly contested governor’s race. At about 8 p.m. CST, Decision Desk HQ projected a stunning upset win for the state’s attorney general, Democrat Andy Beshear.
At the previous night’s rally, Trump pleaded with Kentucky voters to prevent a Beshear victory, imploring them, “You can’t let that happen to me!”
Trump also called for what he called the “angry majority” of voters to turn out at the polls Tuesday to give Bevin the victory. Republicans in Kentucky won most of the other races on the ballot, according to a Fox News report.
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump carried the state in a romp, crushing Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 30 percentage points. But the president was unable to bring Bevin the win in the state’s highest-profile race on Tuesday.
At Monday’s rally, Trump told supporters that Beshear would bring a “wrecking ball” to the Kentucky economy, calling the Democrat “too dangerous” to become governor. Beshear’s father, Steve Beshear, also served as Kentucky governor but was defeated by Bevin in 2015.
BREAKING: NBC News: Democrat Andy Beshear is the apparent winner over Republican Matt Bevin for governor of Kentucky pic.twitter.com/PEFfos08u6
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) November 6, 2019
Trump ripped into Beshear at the rally, accusing him of being “funded by open border fanatics” and claiming that the Democratic attorney general “rejects everything Kentucky stands for.”
But Trump also veered away from his stumping for Bevin while at the rally. Instead, the president attacked the impeachment inquiry against him in the House of Representatives, according to a report by CBS News.
Trump referred to the impeachment proceedings as a “deranged hyper-partisan impeachment witch hunt.”
Prior to the rally, supporters who would appear on camera behind Trump were given white t-shirts with the phrase “Read the transcript,” lettered in red across the front. The phrase was a reference to the transcript of what the U.S. president has called his “perfect” July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
But that transcript, which was actually a partial set of notes on the call, allegedly shows something else. Immediately after Zelensky expressed interest in receiving military aid from the United States to defend against the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Trump reportedly told Zelensky, “I would like you to do us a favor though.”
That remark is seen as key to the impeachment inquiry, which centers around Trump’s attempt to strong-arm Ukraine into an investigation of Democrat Joe Biden, in exchange for badly needed military aid.