Republican senator launches bizarre tirade against ‘cultured, goat milk latte-drinking, avocado toast-eating insiders’ at Trump rally

‘I stand before you tonight as a proud “deplorable”,’ John Kennedy tells Louisiana crowd

Jon Sharman
Friday 15 November 2019 10:30
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Louisiana senator John Neely Kennedy rails against 'avocado toast-eating' Washington elite in Donald Trump rally speech

A Republican senator denounced the “avocado toast-eating insider’s elite” of Washington in a tirade to Donald Trump supporters.

“I stand before you tonight as a proud ‘deplorable’,” John Kennedy told the crowd in Bossier City, Louisiana, referencing the nickname given to Trump supporters by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In a style reminiscent of WWE veteran Ric Flair, the 67-year-old added: “And unlike some of the folks in Washington DC – I’m talking about the cultured, cosmopolitan, goat’s milk latte-drinking, avocado toast-eating insider’s elite – as a ‘deplorable’, I believe that everybody counts.”

He was speaking at the president’s rally in support of Eddie Rispone, the Republican candidate for state governor in Saturday’s election.

Mr Kennedy, who has has been in politics for some three decades after studying at America’s prestigious Vanderbilt University, the Virginia School of Law and Oxford University, went on to tell the crowd: “I care about you. And so does the president of the United States of America. Go vote Saturday. Unless – listen to me – unless you’re happy with crappy, vote for Eddie Rispone for governor.”

Mr Trump’s appearance in Louisiana saw him repeat his normal talking points as well as make a number of outright false claims.

He attacked John Bel Edwards, the state’s incumbent Democratic governor, as wanting to implement “radical, pro-abortion policies” and, in the same breath, attacked journalists covering the event as the “fake news media”.

Earlier this year Mr Edwards signed into law one of the US’ most restrictive abortion laws, which blocks terminations after a foetal heartbeat is detected and contains no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

The president also made the wild assertion that his political opponents were "trying to overthrow democracy and erase the votes of tens of millions of Americans” by investigating his conduct. “Deranged” Democrats had launched an “impeachment witch hunt” against him, he said.

The investigation had been “very hard on my family”, the president added during extensive remarks about impeachment.

The proceedings clearly weighed heavily on Mr Trump’s mind on Thursday night. Before departing Washington for Bossier City, he was spotted in the Oval Office speaking with Bill Barr, his attorney general, White House lawyer Pat Cipollone and press secretary Stephanie Grisham. When he emerged the president did not stop to speak with reporters.

He did not get back to the White House until well after midnight, according to pool reports, with his final tweets of the night referencing the impeachment probe. Mr Trump quoted Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko, who said on Thursday that a US official at the heart of the investigation had not made explicit to him the alleged quid pro quo being looked at by Democrats.

Mr Trump has been accused of withholding US military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The investigation of this claim has been going on for more than a month, but before this week all hearings were private, with reports based on leaks and sources speaking to the media.

Mr Prystaiko said on Thursday that a US official at the heart of the investigation had not made explicit to him the alleged quid pro quo being looked at by Democrats. “Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations,” Mr Prystaiko said, according to Interfax Ukraine.

His comments appeared to contradict evidence already heard by Congress.

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