The latest local news

California city to ban gendered language like ‘manhole’ and ‘manpower’

WQAD News -

Soon, there will be no more manholes in the city of Berkeley, California. There will also be no chairmen, no manpower, no policemen or policewomen.

No, that doesn’t mean a whole city will be without committee leaders and law enforcement. It means that words that imply a gender preference will be removed from the city’s codes and replaced with gender-neutral terms, according a recently adopted ordinance.

The city voted Tuesday night to replace gendered terms in its municipal codes, like “manhole” and “manpower,” with gender-neutral ones like “maintenance hole” and “human effort.”

The item passed without discussion or comments and was not controversial, said Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, the bill’s primary author.

“There’s power in language,” Robinson said. “This is a small move, but it matters.”

The revised city documents also will replace instances of gendered pronouns, such as “he” and “she” with “they,” according to the ordinance.

Berkeley’s municipal code currently contains mostly masculine pronouns, the office of the city manager said in a letter to the mayor and city council.

“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality,” Robinson said. “Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that.”

Excessive Heat Warning continues… Late weekend storms on track

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The high heat and humidity is quickly building again across the area after seeing a cluster of showers and thunderstorms pass just north of the Quad Cities.   Highs this afternoon will easily climb into the 90s with heat index values over 100 degrees.

Overnight, skies stay fair but get this… temperatures will only drop around 80 with heat index values around 90 most of the night!

The high heat and humidity continues on Friday with highs approaching 100 and heat index values around 110.

The last day of our recent heat wave is on track for Saturday with highs once again in the 90s.  This will follow an isolated coverage of showers and thunderstorms later that day with the coverage increasing a bit more that night into Sunday.  Highs will be in the 80s starting on Sunday with cooler 80s for most of next week.

Chief  meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Day 2 of deliberations on death penalty in scholar’s slaying

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Thursday, July 18 is the second day of deliberations in the penalty stage of the federal case against Brendt Christensen.

Jurors went home after three hours Wednesday without a decision on whether he should die or spend the rest of his life behind bars for abducting Yingying Zhang, raping her and beating her to death with a bat.

The same jurors took less than 90 minutes to convict Christensen at his trial in June.

Their task in the penalty stage is harder. They must answer questions such as whether Christensen displayed unique cruelty in killing Zhang and whether he exhibited redeeming qualities in his life.

Related:

FBI probing suspect’s claim that scholar was 1 of 13 victims

Witness: Suspect accused of killing Chinese scholar tried to get another student into his car by posing as cop

Rock Island’s 14th Avenue closes to westbound drivers for road work through early August

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — Construction on 14th Avenue will force westbound traffic to take a detour around the area.

Starting Friday, July 19, crews will be working along 14th Avenue near 38th Street, according to a statement from Michael Bartels with the City of Rock Island’s Public Works Department.    Crews will be making new pedestrian access ramps and working on the curbing, fire hydrants and the storm sewer system.

During that project, which is expected to last three weeks, 14th Avenue will only be open to eastbound traffic.  Westbound drivers will be detoured to 15th Avenue at 37th and 38th Streets.

There will still be access to businesses, said Bartels, and pedestrians will still be able to use at least one side of the road.

If all goes as planned, the roadway is expected to reopen on August 9.

Want to taste 50 different home brews? Find out how here

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- You'll be able to taste dozens of local brews at an event Saturday, July 20.

The 2019 Homebrew Festiv-Ale is taking place at Wake Brewing. Brewery owners Justen and Jason Parris joined us on Thursday, July 18 to talk about the event.

It starts at 2 p.m. and goes until 6. Tickets start at $20. Your purchase is good for 15 sample tickets and event glassware. All proceeds go to the Kings Harvest Pet Rescue No Kill Shelter as well.

To buy tickets, click here.

US preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia amid Iran tensions

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(CNN) — The Trump administration is reinforcing its controversial military relationship with Saudi Arabia by preparing to send hundreds of troops to the country amid increasing tensions with Iran.

Five-hundred troops are expected to go to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert area east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to US two defense officials. A small number of troops and support personnel are already on site with initial preparations being made for a Patriot missile defense battery as well as runway and airfield improvements, the officials said.

The US has wanted to base troops there for some time because security assessments have shown Iranian missiles would have a difficult time targeting the remote area.

The decision comes as US and Saudi relations remain extremely sensitive amid bipartisan congressional anger how the administration has handled the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

But the Trump administration has said it is committed to trying to help protect Saudi Arabia against Iranian aggression.

Last month the administration announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East as Iran tensions flared but did not specify which countries they were going to. The forces going to Saudi Arabia are part of this deployment.

Congress has not been formally notified of the deployment, although one official told CNN that they had been given an informal heads up and an announcement is expected next week.

The notification to Congress will provide more precise details about the US military deployments to the region that have already been publicly announced.

Commercial high-resolution satellites, captured by Planet Labs and obtained by CNN, show an initial deployment of US troops and support personnel to the air base in mid-June, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, who has studied the new images.

Subsequent imagery captured in late June and early July appear to show preparations being made to the site ahead of the deployment of US troops, Lewis said.

“A small encampment and construction equipment appeared at the end of a runway by June 27, suggesting that improvements are already underway. The encampment to the east of the runway is typical of Air Force engineering squadrons deployed overseas,” he told CNN.

The US hopes to be able to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from the base, according to officials.

So far, the Pentagon is declining to comment on the deployment due to longstanding Saudi sensitivities about having US troops in the Kingdom. The Saudis have also not announced US troops are coming to the country.

US-Saudi relations sensitive

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally told lawmakers of the administration’s plan to use a pre-existing rule that would allow it to expedite arms sales to allies in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement at the time that put the value of the sales at $8.1 billion.

The move drew bipartisan condemnation, with lawmakers decrying the precedent it sets, questioning the administration’s claims of an emergency and raising the issue of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and Khashoggi’s murder.

Last month, several House lawmakers reasserted their view that an emergency declaration was not needed.

“The emergency declaration is nothing more than an egregious abuse of power by an Administration that doesn’t like being told, ‘No.’ There is no emergency, but there is a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians with US-made weapons and a Congress that is tired of being complicit,” California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, a group of bipartisan senators introduced a bill aimed at creating accountability in the US-Saudi relationship, despite past failed attempts to provide oversight of the Trump administration’s dealings with the Gulf kingdom.

The bill would require the secretary of state, in coordination with the defense secretary, the director of national intelligence and the treasury secretary, to prepare a comprehensive report and present it to Congress within 270 days. The report would need to examine foreign policy goals, risks, Saudi Arabia’s relations with other countries like China and Russia, and its human rights record.

Homeless man charged with burglaries of Burlington vehicles

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BURLINGTON, Iowa — A homeless man was arrested for burglarizing vehicles in Burlington, Iowa early Thursday morning.

An officer watched Brandon Hand, 31, enter four different vehicles within a two minutes in the 2800 block of Winegard Drive on July 18, 2019, according to a statement from Burlington Police Department Lt. Greg Allen.

Officers received a call that a man was breaking and entering into vehicles at around 2:00 a.m. Hand is currently homeless, according to the statement.

Hand was charged with six counts of third-degree burglary and is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Deer Grove man electrocuted while working on irrigator in Tampico

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TAMPICO, Illinois — A man from Deere Grove was electrocuted while he was working on an irrigator in a rural part of town, west of Highway 40.

Shannon J. Pierceson, age 48, was killed while he was working in a field near Bell Road and Buell Roads, according to a statement from Sergeant Kristopher Schmidt with the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Schmidt said Pierceson, from Deer Grove, was taken to a Sterling hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It was not clear what specifically led to the electrocution.

Former hunting show host from Peoria pleads guilty to poaching deer

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PEORIA, Illinois — The former host of “Fear No Evil,” a hunting show that aired on the Outdoor Channel, has pleaded guilty to poaching deer.

Christopher Brackett, 41, from East Peoria, Illinois, admitted to killing two bucks in Indiana while filming an episode of his cable TV show in December, 2013. Per season, Indiana state law permitted hunters to kill only one buck.

Brackett nicknamed the second buck the “Unicorn Buck” for its unique antlers and, under the Lacy Act, a U.S. Conservation Law, illegally transported it back to his home in East Peoria.

The poaching of the “Unicorn Buck” was featured on Brackett’s show in 2014. The host confessed to instructing a cameraman and producer to hide footage of the kill of the first, smaller buck.

Brackett further confessed to instructing an employee to destroy an eight-point rack in 2017 prior to charges filed against him.

Brackett was set to be sentenced on November 5, 2019.  He has agreed to serve 2.5 years of probation; during that time he is banned from hunting worldwide.  He also has to pay $3,500 to the State of Indiana as well as a $26,500 fine.

“Maybe the punishment is lil (sic) longer time out and at bigger monetary cost but all in all God is good,” Brackett said in a Facebook post. “Six years ago was a long time and long before this whole thing was dug up I was a different man and now that it’s over… I look forward to the future.”

 

The charges were investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the assistance of both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources.

COMING SOON: New Restaurant in Davenport and Old Pizza Place Transformation in East Moline

WQAD News -

What's going in here? What's happening over there? These are questions we all ask as we drive around town and Good Morning Quad Cities' "Coming Soon" Segment is about answering those questions.

Here are this week's updates:

Old Shorty's Pizza Location, East Moline

A News 8 Viewer wrote in, asking "What's coming to the old Shorty's Pizza location?" - mentioning that he's seeing a lot of work being done on the empty building, located at 735 19th Street in East Moline.

We reached out to East Moline City Leaders and Inspections Coordinator Dave Johnson tells News 8 that the building was purchased by the owner of the Gas N Dash Mart next door and is being remodeled into a gaming parlor called “Shorty’s Slots."

No word yet on when the new business will be open.

Steel Plow Burger Company, Davenport

Wednesday, July 17, we learned the Steel Plow is opening up a second location in the Quad Cities. This time in Davenport. For more on the development, click here. 

Do you have a development you want us to look into? Send an email to news@wqad.com with "Coming Soon" in the subject line. 

Davenport Fire Department prepares for extreme temperatures

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, IOWA  -- While you're trying to keep cool at home, first responders are making sure they're ready to help people in with summer heat. They don't have the option to stay indoors and fire fighters don't have an option to dress for the weather.

"Our firefighter gear is basically like putting on a snow mobile suit in the summer," Assistant Chief of Operations Robb MacDogall said.  "On top of that, you strap on a 30 pound air pack and then any tools that you're grabbing, then you go and do the most intense work you can possibly imagine."

The department had to treat three of their fire fighters for heat related injuries after two separate fires over the weekend.

They were minor injuries and all responders are back to duty. Fire fighters can suffer from heat related injuries like dehydration and over exertion.

"You are basically baking inside a building," MacDougall said. The department says they do their best to prepare for high temperatures, but there is only so much they can do.

"It starts with the gear that we wear for protection," MacDougall said. "Doing any activity, you're instantly sweating and that clock is ticking for how long you can operate in those conditions."

They say they encourage crews to drink water before, during and after their shift. They always will rotate crews and work in smaller increments if there is a structure fire.

Not only does their protective uniform work against them because it is heavy layers, it also has vapor barriers. Vapor barriers are in each suit to protect the fire fighters from steam burns, but they also trap in moisture. With moisture trapped inside, the body can't cool down with sweat.

The men and women of the Davenport Fire Department are also paramedics, so they are able to monitor their own crews and better protect against heat related injuries.

Thousands of Puerto Rico protesters calling for governor to resign, police fire tear gas

WQAD News -

(CNN) — Protesters calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló began clearing the streets in the early morning hours of Thursday, after a night of heated demonstrations that culminated in demonstrators overturning barricades and police firing tear gas into the crowd.

“We are tired of the abuse, of so many years of corruption,” a protester, Leishka Flores, told CNN. “We are here to make a revolution.”

A series of protests began days ago when nearly 900 pages of leaked chats from a governor’s private Telegram Messenger group, obtained by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, were published over the weekend.

“He needs to know that no one in Puerto Rico wants him,” another protester told the crowd.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the Capitol on Wednesday for one of the week’s largest protests and walked together to the governor’s official residence, known locally as La Fortaleza.

Before reaching the governor’s mansion, protesters walked playing tambourines, and banging pots and pans along with some of Puerto Rico’s biggest stars.

Protesters are detained by police in San Juan, Puerto Rico on, July 17, 2019. Thousands marched in Puerto Rico for a fifth day on Wednesday demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello, following corruption accusations and the leak of text chats in which he made sexist and homophobic remarks. Photo: ERIC ROJAS/AFP/Getty Images

Singer and actor Ricky Martin, reggaeton star Bad Bunny and rapper René Pérez Joglar, known as Residente, joined protesters in the American territory’s capital.

“This government has to begin respecting the people,” Residente told the crowd. “We can’t stop protesting.”

Bad Bunny held a sign saying “Ricky resign” in Spanish.

As protesters reached the governor’s mansion, they met a barricade of police in riot gear blocking the street but continued chanting against Rosselló for hours.

“I’m here to fight for my rights and my daughter’s rights,” a protester, Andrea Batista, told CNN. “I’m tired of getting robbed.”

Protests on the mainland

Similar demonstrations took place in US mainland cities like Miami and Orlando, Florida. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, former New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito attended protests at New York’s Union Square.

“I’m so numb from politics in America. But the people of Puerto Rico are numb and they are waking us all up. I’m going to have their backs,” Miranda told CNN.

Earlier on Wednesday, Puerto Rico’s Justice Department issued summonses for everyone involved in the private chat group with Rosselló.

The participants, which include 11 of the governor’s top aides and Cabinet members, will be ordered to appear before department officials over three days and their cellphones will be inspected, department spokeswoman Mariana Cobian said.

Though Cobian said all participants of the private chat were being summoned, she declined to provide a list of names.

The FBI would neither confirm nor deny whether if it was separately investigating the chats, bureau spokesman Luis Rivera said.

Governor says he won’t resign

Rosselló announced he would not step down Tuesday, hours after police fired tear gas into crowds of protesters calling for his ouster. He also defended the actions of police and accused protesters of unleashing tear gas and setting fires during demonstrations Monday night.

“I have not committed any illegal or corrupt acts,” he said. “I committed inappropriate acts and have expressed regret for that.”

The leaks came the same week that two former officials from Rosselló’s administration were arrested by the FBI as part of a federal corruption investigation.

Rosselló has not responded to CNN’s interview requests.

The governor promised to work to restore the public’s confidence in him and noted that he has much work left to do.

“Despite the difficulties that we have internal and external, the work will continue and the agenda will be completed in all areas,” he said. “You do not give up on work already started, and today, more than ever, a lot of people are counting on my commitment to do so.”

If Rosselló were to resign, the law says the secretary of state, a post that is currently empty, is next in line to take the helm, followed by the island’s treasurer.

Protesters clash with police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 17, 2019. Photo: ERIC ROJAS/AFP/Getty Images

San Juan Mayor urged residents to join protests

The messages, dubbed “RickyLeaks,” contain profanity-laden, homophobic and misogynistic messages aimed at opposition politicians, journalists and celebrities.

Among the insults Rosselló hurls in the chats: He calls a Puerto Rican-born New York official a “whore” and says she should be beaten; says an oversight board managing the island’s financial crisis can “go f*** yourself”; and tells one of his then-top officials that he’d be doing him a “grand favor” by shooting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

That official — Christian Sobrino Vega, ex-chief fiscal officer and Rosselló’s representative on the aforementioned oversight board, also was implicated in the withering chats, making a homophobic remark about singer Ricky Martin and mocking those killed in Hurricane Maria.

Yulín Cruz, a member of the opposition Popular Democratic Party who is running for governor, told CNN on Wednesday that the chats demonstrate that Rosselló and his supporters were hoping to silence their critics. She encouraged residents of her city, the territory’s capital, to join in demonstrations demanding the governor’s ouster.

“This is the people of Puerto Rico … clamoring for whatever is left of our democracy to be saved so we can begin to move away from the darkness of Ricardo Rosselló,” she said. “I am not advocating violence. I always advocate peaceful resistance, but just like (the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.) said, I cannot condemn the indignation of people.”

She has filed a report over what she called Rosselló’s and Sobrino Vega’s death threat against her, she said, and has called on the Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

Ahead of Wednesday’s protests in San Juan, Yulín Cruz said she won’t allow police officers to block or injure demonstrators.

“I’m not going to cooperate with his (Roselló’s) abuses. I won’t be part of his efforts to criminalize the legitimate right of the people of Puerto Rico to ask for his resignation,” she said.

 

Iowa DHS director fired after emailing Tupac quote to 4,300 employees

WQAD News -

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The former director of Iowa's Department of Human Services is keeping his head up after the diehard Tupac fan was fired abruptly last month.

Jerry Foxhoven told the New York Times he still thinks his firing may be coincidental – he was forced out one day after sending an email praising the rapper to all 4,300 agency employees.

The 66-year-old routinely sent Tupac lyrics to other workers as inspiration, hundreds of emails obtained by the Associated Press show.

Foxhoven regularly invited others to his office on "Tupac Fridays" to listen to music. For his 65th birthday, Foxhoven celebrated at the office with Tupac-themed cookies, decorated with words such as "Thug life."

Foxhoven sent the mass email to co-workers to let them know that Father's Day was also Tupac's birthday, adding this inspirational quote he attributed to the rapper: "Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back; it simply means that you are two steps ahead."

Some employees wrote back to tell him how much they loved the emails, but at least one employee notified lawmakers last year, the AP found.

“I love your 2Pac messages,” one employee wrote on June 14. “And the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds forced Foxhoven to step down June 17, the day after he sent the email encouraging thousands of employees to remember Shakur's birthday that weekend by playing one of his songs.

He told the Associated Press he sent the email in an effort to challenge racist stereotypes around rap music.

A spokesman for the governor, Pat Garrett, said "a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven," and that they needed to go in a "different direction."

Man kills at least 25, injures 36 as he burns anime studio in Japan

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The fire started at about 10:30 a.m. local time on Thursday. (Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

UPDATED: At least 25 people are feared dead and 36 injured in a suspected arson attack at a renowned animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto Thursday, fire officials said.

The Kyoto Fire department confirmed that 13 people have died and more than ten people were found with “no vital signs” inside the building, which belonged to the Kyoto Animation Co.

In Japan, officials commonly use this term to signify victims have died but their deaths have not yet been officially certified.

Kyoto police said that a man poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio and set it on fire. The 41-year-old suspect was taken into police custody.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. local time on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET) in the company’s 1st Studio building in Kyoto’s Fushimi-ku district. Police said a resident reported hearing a sound like an explosion coming from the studio.

About 48 fire engines have been dispatched to the area and are currently trying to get the fire under control.

Footage from the scene shows thick smoke billowing out of the four-story building, which is located in a residential area several kilometers south of Kyoto Station, as firefighters worked to douse the flames.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeted that he was left speechless at the “gruesomeness of the crime,” and offered condolences to victims.

Founded in 1981, Kyoto Animation — known as KyoAni — produces animations and publishes anime novels, comics and books, according to its website. Among Japan’s most well known studios, its most famous works include “Free!”, manga series “K-On!”, the anime TV adaptation of “Haruhi Suzumiya” and “Violet Evergarden” which Netflix picked up in 2018.

The company’s philosophy as posted on its website includes keeping a “humanitarian” corporate culture and believes that “promoting the growth of people is equal to creating the brightness of works.”

There was an outpouring of grief on Twitter Thursday with fans of the studio offering their condolences.

Crowd chants ‘send her back’ as Trump escalates attacks on Ilhan Omar, ‘The Squad’

WQAD News -

GREENVILLE, N.C. – President Donald Trump on Wednesday intensified his attacks on four progressive Democratic congresswomen, painting them as the face of the Democratic Party — as a fevered crowd chanted “Send her back!” about an American congresswoman of color.

Trump spent a significant portion of the rally railing against the group, known as “The Squad” on Capitol Hill, individually by name. That line of attack has become a strategy he and aides believe will cast the Democratic Party as a far left, radical group.

The attacks began on Sunday when the President told the four minority lawmakers to “go back” to their “crime infested” countries. Three of the four women were born in the US and the other is a naturalized citizen.

At a wide-ranging, 90-minute campaign rally, Trump attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who he referred to as “Cortez,” because “I don’t have time to go with three different names.”

Though he’s known to go off script, Trump read from a teleprompter as he went on a screed against the four Democratic congresswomen with whom he’s brawled for four days.

As the President castigated Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar with a litany of accusations, the crowd chanted, “Send her back!” The progressive lawmaker was born in Somalia but came to the US as a refugee in 2000 and became an American citizen when she was 17, according to the New York Times.

Omar responded in a tweet Wednesday evening, quoting poet Maya Angelou.

“You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise,” she wrote.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019

Trump warned the four congresswomen of color “fuel the rise of a dangerous, violent hard left.”

“That’s why I said, hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave,” he said. “They don’t love our country. I think in some cases, they hate our country.”

He characterized the lawmakers as “so angry.” “They were trying to be nice, but it’s hard,” he said.

The prolonged attack was yet another escalation in a week where Trump has specifically targeted the lawmakers, known as “The Squad,” in an attempt to paint them as the face of his political opposition.

While those close to the President have conceded his line about going back to the places they came from was not helpful, Trump’s allies believe the overall strategy of making the four congresswomen the face of the Democratic Party will be a successful one, helping him frame the party as a far left, radical group.

He cast a vote for a Democrat in 2020 more broadly as “a vote for radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream. Frankly, the destruction of our country.”

Before departing the White House, Trump told reporters he thinks he’s “winning” the fight.

“I do think I am winning the political fight,” Trump said, saying the Democratic Party is “going so far left, they’re going to fall off a cliff.”

He said he was “not relishing the fight” with the Democratic congresswomen, but was enjoying himself nonetheless.

“I’m enjoying it because I have to get the word out to the American people … It’s not a question of relishing, they’re wrong,” he said. “We’re not going to be a socialist country, it’s not going to happen.”

Trump employed a similar strategy during the 2018 midterm elections, in which his party lost 40 seats to the Democrats. It’s also part of how he successfully won the presidency in 2016 — but it’s unclear if the strategy will again appeal to the same moderate voters he needs win over in 2020 swing states.

Trump also celebrated news that the House of Representatives blocked an impeachment resolution proposed by a lone Democratic lawmakerduring a campaign rally in North Carolina.

“I just heard that the US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I have ever been involved in. The resolution — how stupid is that — on impeachment,” he said to applause upon taking the stage at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

He thanked the Democrats, calling it a “totally lopsided” vote. The vote Wednesday evening was 332-95.

Ninety-five Democrats — a little more than 40% of the Democratic caucus — voted against tabling it, or to keep it alive. That’s more Democrats who voted against tabling it in 2017 (58) and 2018 (66).

Trump had tweeted shortly after the vote, lamenting that it was “the most ridiculous and time consuming project I have ever had to work on” and claiming it “is now OVER!”

However, the vote just means impeachment has been tabled for now. Rep. Al Green, the Texas Democrat who introduced the resolution, said on Wednesday that he would consider forcing another impeachment vote if necessary.

The resolution was introduced after Trump’s racist tweets aimed at four Democratic congresswomen of color injected drama and tumult into an already-divided Washington this week. On Wednesday evening, he left all that behind for friendlier territory, holding a campaign rally before an arena of supporters in Greenville, North Carolina.

Wednesday evening marked Trump’s first rally since he officially kicked off his reelection campaign last month in Orlando where he delivered a wide-ranging, lengthy speech echoing many similar themes and grievances of his 2016 campaign, including attacks on Clinton.

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