Update (1015ET): Minutes ago, Bloomberg tweeted his response:
Impeached president says what? https://t.co/Sf2gXXppZO— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 19, 2020
Does he know that joke only really works in-person? We guess not.
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Three months after launching his campaign for president, billionaire media and financial data mogul Mike Bloomberg will make his debut in the Democratic debates Wednesday night as the remaining candidates face off in Las Vegas. He has yet to compete in a primary, but national polls have him in second place - behind only Bernie - and he has a good chance of winning in both Nevada and South Carolina.
Seeing the threat Bloomberg posed from the beginning, Trump long ago coined a moniker, "Mini Mike" Bloomberg, a dig on his rival's diminutive stature. And in a Wednesday morning Tweet, Trump trotted it out once again, along with seemingly forgotten allegations that the candidate - who has promised to pour $1 billion of his massive fortune into the campaign, already having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ads and campaign staff - violated FEC rules when Bloomberg News said it wouldn't cover his campaign.
"Is corrupt Bloomberg News going to say what a pathetic debater Mini Mike is, that he doesn't respect our great farmers, or that he has violated campaign finances laws at the highest and most sinister level with "payoffs" all over the place?" Trump said.
Is corrupt Bloomberg News going to say what a pathetic debater Mini Mike is, that he doesn’t respect our great farmers, or that he has violated campaign finance laws at the highest and most sinister level with “payoffs” all over the place?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2020
Trump is of course referencing Bloomberg News's decision not to cover its owners candidacy, a decision that led several staff members to resign. The bit about not respecting farmers is a reference to this, and the FEC violations apparently reference a complaint filed by the Republican National Lawyers Association.
The complaint alleges that Bloomberg News's decision not to cover Bloomberg's campaign is tantamount to "an impermissible in-kind corporate contribution".
We're not lawyers, but here is what the RNLA is alleging:
"Bloomberg News abandoned its ‘Guiding Principles’ when it announced that its news team would not investigate its owner and now presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, as well as the rest of the field of 2020 Democrat candidates but would continue to investigate President Trump. The announcement not only ignores basic and fair journalistic practices, it violates federal campaign finance law. The RNLA urges the Federal Election Commission to investigate the matter to determine the scope of Bloomberg’s violations."
Now: Will we hear Bernie Sanders raise this issue during the debate? If we do, you can bet Trump is to blame.
Bloomberg's campaign manager, a longtime Bloomberg journalist who was infamously sued by the president over a book he wrote, claimed that Trump's tweet is evidence he's 'scared' of Bloomberg.
Translation: “I’m scared of Mike Bloomberg. And I really want Bernie Sanders to be the nominee.” https://t.co/9z8TuhCrlm— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) February 19, 2020
Bloomberg is probably the least intimidating man on earth. He can't even pet a dog without making a laughingstock of himself: