Trump shores up support, avoids mentioning controversy ahead of Obamacare vote

Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 22:58:35-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- President Donald Trump's series of post-election campaign-style rallies continued Monday, apparently unimpeded by FBI director James Comey's acknowledgement that his office was being investigated for possible collusion with Russian officials during the 2016 election.

The president held the third of his post-election rallies in Louisville's Freedom Center, where he hit familiar talking points and continued work on what the Associated Press called "an outside and inside strategy" for replacing Obamacare -- shoring up support among his base before a planned Tuesday meeting with House Republicans.

"This our long-awaited chance to finally get rid of Obamacare," he told the crowd, referring to Thursday's House vote on repealing the policy.

He also gave a shout-out to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has been vocally resistant to the prospect of passing the American Health Care Act as a replacement for Obamacare.

"I look forward to working with him so we can get this bill passed in some form so we can pass massive tax reform, which we can't do until this happens," Trump said. "So we gotta get this done."

Paul, for his part, had appeared on ABC the previous day to voice his pessimism about the bill and did not appear at the rally.

Although Trump has been president for two months and faced widespread scrutiny in that time, the honeymoon glow has not faded for supporters such as Shane Bouvet, who said the president gave his veteran father $10,000 in January to help pay for chemotherapy.

"What he is doing is a beautiful movement," Bouvet said. "You saw all kinds of people come out and support him. I am just blessed to be a part of it."

Caroline Sarian, who traveled from St. Louis to Louisville to attend the rally, said she thought Trump was sincere and straightforward in laying out his goals.

"Everything from the wall to legal immigration to the criminals who come through, taking care of the veterans, you can tell he is so sincere and honest," she said.

Trump did not address the then-ongoing hearing in which Comey said there was no evidence to support his accusation that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped his home during the 2016 election.