Roundup: Trump rallies in deep-red Kentucky, hoping to boost GOP governor amid impeachment inquiry

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LEXINGTON, the United States, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump, facing a fast-moving impeachment inquiry, held a rally here on Monday night in hopes of boosting Republican Governor Matt Bevin on the eve of Kentucky's gubernatorial election.

Addressing thousands of supporters at Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington, the second largest city of Kentucky, Trump urged local voters to support Bevin's reelection.

"He's tough on illegal immigration, he's pro-life and 100 percent the Second Amendment," Trump said of Bevin. "By the way, you're going to lose your Second Amendment if you vote in the Democrats."

Bevin, first elected as governor of Kentucky in 2015, faces the Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat and son of former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, in this year's election scheduled on Tuesday.

The incumbent governor has spent months touting his close ties to the Trump administration, while casting Beshear as a liberal who would stand in the way of the president's agenda.

Beshear, joined by his father, campaigned in Western Kentucky on Monday, encouraging people to get out and vote for him, according to his tweets.

The attorney general, who has tried to make the race about local issues, tweeted on Monday night that local voters "are fired up to send Matt Bevin home and build a Kentucky" that works for all families.

A poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy last month found Bevin and Beshear tied, with each winning 46 percent of support from local voters.

Trump won Kentucky, a deep-red state, by some 30 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election.

A group of protesters gathered in a park near Rupp Arena on Monday afternoon, waving anti-Trump and anti-Bevin signs.

The rally in Kentucky came as Trump is facing a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, triggered by an anonymous whistleblower who raised concerns about the White House's interactions with Ukraine, including a July 25 phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump was alleged to have abused power by using a military aid to pressure Zelensky into investigating former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a top-tier 2020 Democratic presidential contender, so as to help his re-election campaign. The White House allegedly tried to cover it up.

The impeachment inquiry, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated in late September, has entered into a new phase as Democrats began releasing transcripts from two closed-door depositions with former and current Trump administration's officials on Monday.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing or a "quid pro quo," claimed on Monday night that the impeachment inquiry "has created an angry majority" that will vote Democrats out of office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky, and Rand Paul, the other senator representing the state, also took the stage and spoke briefly.

Paul weighed in on the impeachment inquiry, urging the whistleblower to "come before Congress as a material witness" and demanding media reveal the identity of the whistleblower.

Mark Zaid, an attorney representing the whistleblower, tweeted that his team will protect the whistleblower's identity.

Besides Kentucky, Mississippi will also see a gubernatorial election on Tuesday.

Trump held a rally in Mississippi last week to advocate for Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves' campaign.

The president plans to make a trip to Louisiana for another rally later this week to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, who is challenging Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.

A runoff election between Rispone and Edwards will be held on Nov. 16.

The Cook Political Report has rated the Kentucky and Louisiana races as "toss-ups" and the Mississippi race as "lean Republican." Enditem

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