US President Donald Trump said he hopes to resume campaigning Saturday after receiving a green light from his doctor, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to unveil plans to probe the president’s capacity to govern after contracting Covid-19.
With just 26 days until the November 3 election, Washington’s top Democrat took the extraordinary step of proposing a commission to investigate Trump’s fitness for the job — and whether he needs removal under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment — which she will unveil in a bill Friday.
The move came after Trump spent the day ranting against critics and threw the debate schedule with Democrat Joe Biden into turmoil.
With tensions building over the president’s diagnosis and questions about his judgment, Trump said in a Fox News interview late Thursday that he wants to hold a campaign rally as early as Saturday.
“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together,” he said during an interview with Sean Hannity, adding that it would be “probably in Florida.”
Trump said that he might hold another rally the following day in Pennsylvania.
Earlier in the day Trump’s doctor gave him the green light to resume public activities this weekend.
“Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagement at that time,” Conley said in a statement.
Having been held back from campaigning, Trump earlier Thursday raged on Fox Business television, insulting Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris as a “monster,” branding illegal immigrants “rapists,” and urging indictments of Biden and former president Barack Obama.
And in remarks that caught Pelosi’s attention, the 74-year-old Trump quipped that he beat Covid because “I am a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young.”
Pelosi warned that Trump is suffering from a “disassociation from reality (that) would be funny if it weren’t so deadly.”
Senior House Democrat James Clyburn cautioned on CNN that Trump was exhibiting “very erratic behavior” that has drawn public concern. As they questioned the president’s claim to be rapidly recovering from Covid-19 and Pelosi announced her upcoming probe, Trump fired back on Twitter.
“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation,” he wrote. “They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”
– Anxious times –
Trump’s rejection of next week’s debate because organizers decided to go virtual due to his bout with Covid-19 upended the calendar of debates — usually a set series of three that candidates arrange well in advance.
After back and forth between Trump and Biden’s campaign, it appeared likely that only two debates will take place in total, with the next being October 22 and the one scheduled for Miami on October 15 now scrapped.
With Biden surging in opinion polls and able to travel — the veteran Democrat visited Arizona Thursday where he and Harris launched a campaign bus tour — these are anxious times for Trump.