President Donald Trump is urging Republican voters to get out the vote in November's midterm elections so that he can avoid being impeached by Democrats, should the party win back control of Congress.
Speaking at a rally in Michigan last week, Trump told scores of supporters that if Democrats win back the House, or Senate, or both, then his presidency would be in immediate peril. Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats in the House and 2 seats in the Senate gain a majority. Polls have consistently shown Democrats leading Republicans on generic ballots, and Democrats have been enjoying a surge of victories in special elections since Trump took office in 2017.
"We have to keep the House because if we listen to Maxine Waters, she's going around saying, 'We will impeach him,'" Trump said. "We gotta go out and we gotta fight like hell and we gotta win the House and we gotta win the Senate."
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon agrees with Trump's approach. "You've got to make it an up or down vote Nov. 6. I want Trump on the ticket in every district," Bannon said in an interview. "You have to put Donald Trump on the ticket. You're not voting for Congress. You're voting for Donald Trump."
Trump's remarks came on the heels of a chaotic week in which his newest attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, issued bombshell statements regarding Trump's knowledge of hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, the former adult film star with whom Trump is alleged to have had an affair in 2006.
"I know this sounds funny to people there at home, I never thought $130,000 was a real payment," he said. "It's a nuisance payment. When I settle — when it's a real possibility — it's a couple million dollars, not $130,000. People don't go away for $130,000 with a meritorious claim."
Nevertheless, Trump's new narrative on the Daniels matter, courtesy of Guiliani, promises to create even more sticky legal steps for the president. Trump's former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, as well as Trump himself, had previously denied Trump's knowledge or involvement with the payment, which is now being investigated as a possible campaign finance violation.
And then there is Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion in the 2016 election, which remains another glaring and ongoing existential threat to Trump's tumultuous presidency.
Folks on Twitter had their own thoughts on Trump's attempt to make the midterms all about him.