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Monday December 16th, 2019 5:49AM

The Latest: Trump raises questions about Sen. Leahy drinking

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

9:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is raising questions about the drinking habits of Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy in an attempt to turn the tables on Democrats who have gone after Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's beer drinking. 

Trump told a crowd at a rally in Mississippi that they should do an online search for "Patrick Leahy slash drink."

Leahy's office didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Leahy is a member of the Judiciary Committee and questioned Kavanaugh last week over a woman's claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Other people have come forward saying Kavanaugh has not been truthful about how much he drank in his younger years.

Kavanaugh has denied sexually assaulting anyone. He acknowledged drinking beer and liking it.

___

8:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is stumping for Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, saying a vote for her is a vote for him.

Trump on Tuesday called her a "true Mississippi patriot." She lauded Trump and said to the crowd: "Is he not the best president we have ever had?"

Hyde-Smith was appointed this year to fill the seat of Republican Thad Cochran. She faces Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee in next month's special election for the remainder of the two-year term.

Trump says a vote for Espy is a vote for the Democrat agenda for "open borders and radical socialism."

Some rallygoers wore "Trump voters for McDaniel" T-shirts.

When Trump introduced her, there were some audible boos from some corners of the audience.

___

8:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Democrats have been trying to destroy Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh since the very second he was nominated.

At a Tuesday night political rally in Southaven, Mississippi, Trump mocked Democrats who have been critical of Kavanaugh. The audience responded with chants of "We want Kavanaugh."

Trump says he has been criticized for years and had many false accusations made about him. He says he considers that part of his job description.

But he says that it should not be happening to Kavanaugh, and he blamed critics who have been talking about his high school and college days instead of his career in public service and on the bench.

He called the nomination process a "damn sad situation."

Kavanaugh has been accused by multiple women of decades-old sexual assault. He has denied it.

___

8:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is urging a crowd in Mississippi to vote Republican in the midterms because he says the Democrats will "plunge our country into chaos."

At a rally in Southaven on Tuesday evening, Trump boasted about his newly revamped trade agreement with Canada and Mexico and said the U.S. economy was growing. 

He says economic progress is at stake in the midterm elections, just five weeks away.

He says Democrats will "plunge our country into gridlock and chaos like we've never seen before."

He says the only reason to vote Democrat is if voters are tired of winning.

___

7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is looking to use his influence to sway the outcome of a low-profile election in Mississippi that could tip the balance of the Senate.

Trump is set to rally his supporters on Tuesday in Southaven behind Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat of Republican Thad Cochran. She faces Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee in next month's special election for the remainder of the two-year term.

Republican officials and the White House expect Hyde-Smith's race to go to a runoff under the state's jungle election rules that force a showdown between the top two finishers if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote.

Officials say Trump is seeking to boost Hyde-Smith as close as possible to the 50 percent threshold.

___

3:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is highlighting what he calls an "economic revival" as he addresses electrical contractors in Philadelphia.

Trump said Tuesday that the stock market has hit more than 100 record highs since he was sworn into office and that it will soon be announced that the country has created more than 640,000 manufacturing jobs since January.

Trump says: "We're in the midst of a manufacturing renaissance."

Trump was speaking to the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention a day after celebrating a new North American trade deal. Trump calls the agreement "USMCA," for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, saying he doesn't want to use the previous name, NAFTA that deal cost American jobs.

He explains: "Like YMCA or U.S. Marine Corps with an A at the end."

___

12:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to promote his new North American trade agreement and the nation's economic performance in Philadelphia on Tuesday, a day after he heralded the agreement in a Rose Garden press conference.

Trump is traveling to Pennsylvania to address the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention.

Trump will then hit the campaign trail in Southaven, Mississippi, across the border from Memphis, Tennessee, to campaign on behalf of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Hyde-Smith was appointed to temporarily fill the seat held by Sen. Thad Cochran when he retired in April. She faces three challengers, including Democratic former Rep. Mike Espy, in the Nov. 6 special election.

Before departing the White House Trump tweeted: "THE ONLY REASON TO VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT IS IF YOU'RE TIRED OF WINNING!"

__

12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump predicted national havoc if Democrats gain control of Congress in midterm elections next month. He's also accusing the opposition party of trying to "destroy" his nominee for the Supreme Court.

Trump attacked Democrats during a rally Monday night in Johnson City, Tennessee, a state with a closer-than-expected Senate race critical to control of the chamber.

Without citing evidence, Trump warned of a plunging stock market, devastated retirement accounts, huge tax increases and skyrocketing crime if Republicans lose their grip on Congress.

Trump also defended Brett Kavanaugh, saying the Supreme Court nominee accused of sexual misconduct in high school and college is "a very fine person."

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