Under fire from Democrats and an impeachment investigation, and taking flak from his own party over his moves in Syria, President Donald Trump on Thursday heads to the state of Minnesota for a rally, as his campaign tries to expand the playing field in the 2020 elections, and flip a state long held by Democrats over to the GOP.
"I almost won it last time," the President said recently, noting that Hillary Clinton prevailed in 2016 by just one and a half percent, as Minnesota has not voted for a Republican running for the White House since the Nixon landslide of 1972.
But Mr. Trump's trip comes at a time of extensive White House turmoil, two days after his top lawyer told Congress that the President would not cooperate with an impeachment investigation led by Democrats, scathing attacks from GOP lawmakers about Syria, and fresh polling that showed a surprising amount of support for impeachment.
What made the poll even more interesting was that it was from Fox News.
2. The Fox poll on impeachment shows all the familiar divides—but the president’s core support is dwindling. 14% of Trump voters now favor impeachment, as do 39% of rural whites. (So do suburban women, 60-33%.) pic.twitter.com/uRVXZynZcg— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) October 10, 2019
New Fox News poll:— Daniel Wessel (@da_wessel) October 9, 2019
66-25% of voters say it's wrong for Trump to ask foreign leaders to investigate his poltiical rivals
55-39% think Trump is doing what's best for himself, not the US.
51-27% say Trump's admin is more corrupt than past admins. https://t.co/Sum38kk9fe
The Fox News poll arrived amid a jump in people supporting impeachment of the President - the unknown is whether this is just a temporary surge because of recent news cycles about Ukraine and the President, or if it is something much more problematic for Mr. Trump and his team.
"The Republicans are doing very well despite the witch hunt that they have on Republicans," Mr. Trump said Wednesday at the White House.
"It's all a big con," the President said as he took questions in the Roosevelt Room.
Meanwhile, Democrats kept up their pressure from Capitol Hill, as the clock ticked on a number of subpoenas, which the White House has already said officials will be defying in coming days.
Democrats say the refusal to turn over documents or give testimony can be read only one way - obstruction of an investigation.
"What Republicans fear most is the truth," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"I had a perfect phone call with the President of Ukraine," the President told reporters on Wednesday. "Like, I mean perfect."
But as the complaint of an intelligence community whistleblower has leaked out to news organizations in recent days, it paints a much different picture of that call, and what President Trump was trying to get from the leader of Ukraine.
In the text of the complaint posted by CBS News on Wednesday, the whistleblower said President Trump argued that the 2016 election interference "all started in Ukraine" - going directly against repeated investigations which have centered that activity in Russia.
The memo also claims the President asked the Ukraine leader to locate an email server - most likely from the Democratic National Committee - which Mr. Trump apparently believes could be in Ukraine, as he referred to the "Crowdstrike server."
No evidence has surfaced in any investigation that Crowdstrike - a cyber security company which helped the DNC investigate the 2016 email hack against the party's headquarters - has any ties to Ukraine, or that anything involved in the Russia probe came from Ukraine.