UPDATE: As caucuses begin, Trump's family and staff rally in Des Moines

UPDATE: As caucuses begin, Trump's family and staff rally in Des Moines

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Members of President Donald J. Trump's family and staff held a press conference in the hours before the Iowa caucuses. Among those attending from left, campaign manager Brad Parscale, Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump, son Erik Trump, son Don Trump Jr. and Trump Victory Finance Committee National Chair Kimberly Guilfoyle.

WEST DES MOINES — Before his overwhelming victory in the Iowa Republican caucuses on Monday, President Donald J. Trump sent a message to Democrats, sending more than 80 of his surrogates into the Des Moines area in a show of force meant to overshadow the Democrats’ caucus-day events and the hopeful victory parties of the five leading presidential candidates.

Trump’s family, several cabinet members, officials and an army of campaign staff held a press conference before a mass of national and international media, declaring Trump’s re-election campaign already has $200 million cash on hand and is on the path to victory.

As Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, stepped to the podium, a Jewish protester seated in the VIP guest section stood up and yelled, “I’m an American Jew and ever since your father was elected president, more and more Jews are being gunned down every year.”

The man was quickly dragged away, then physically picked up and carried out of a ballroom at the Sheraton by security and Secret Service as Trump’s supporters broke into a chant of “USA, USA, USA.”

“Nobody’s done more for Israel and American Jews than Donald Trump,” Trump Jr. said. “This is why I wrote the book, ‘Triggered,’ folks! The New York Times Number One best seller. Donald Trump has done more for the state of Israel; he’s defended Jews.”

Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Trump’s finance committee national chairwoman, were joined by Erik Trump and his wife, Lara Trump and Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager.

U.S. Reps. Mark Meadows, Steve Scalise and Matt Gaetz, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Office of Budget and Management Director Mick Mulvaney were among the officials in attendance.

Trump Jr. said his father fulfilled every campaign promise he made in 2016.

“He did all of the things he said he was going to do,” Don Jr. said. “And to do it and have the results and the track record and the unprecedented success despite zero help from the other side, who is more concerned making sure Trump fails than they are doing anything, let alone representing their own constituency.”

Parscale said Trump is a fighter who will prevail, no matter who the Democratic nominee is.

“He’ll take on anyone, he’s that kind of guy,” Parscale said. “I’ve never seen him back down from a fight. He understood when he won in 2016 that it was the start of this fight, not the end of it. He sees 2020 and he’s ready. I think tonight will be a real test on the Democrats’ side.”


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