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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump called his impeachment a "political suicide march for the Democratic Party" as the House of Representatives cast two fateful votes Wednesday night.

The big picture: Trump became America's third president to be impeached after the House voted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction. But supporters remained unfazed at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, showing up through slushy snow wearing MAGA hats and "deplorables" gear to get a look at the president.

  • As lawmakers voted, Trump surrounded himself with thousands of supporters. "It doesn't really feel like we're being impeached," he told them confidently just before the votes.

The president's counter-programming began hours earlier. Trump sent dozens of tweets and retweets Wednesday morning laying into Democrats for what he's repeatedly called a hoax.

  • "Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG! A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!" Trump tweeted.

Trump doubled down on his impeachment defense following the vote, spending about two hours total in front of the crowd.

  • "You know, we have an election right down the road. I announced three months ago that I'm running, right? I'll give you a little clue: I announced because I figured once I announced they'd never impeach. Nobody would be so stupid," Trump said.
  • "They've been trying to impeach me from day one. They've been trying to impeach me from before I ran," he added.

Fed the vote numbers mid-speech, Trump touted the tally to the crowd, leading to sweeping cheers for Republican unity and the three Democrats who voted in the president's favor.

  • "The Republican Party has never been so affronted, but they've never been so united as they are right now," Trump said.

Between the lines: Holding on to voters in swing states like Michigan — which Trump narrowly won in 2016 — will be essential for Republicans to keep the White House in 2020.

  • Keeping the base motivated to turn out in his defense is also key to Trump's re-election strategy.

What to watch: The GOP-led Senate was poised to hold an expedited trial in January. Trump is expected to be acquitted.

  • "The President is confident the Senate will restore regular order, fairness, and due process, all of which were ignored in the House proceedings. He is prepared for the next steps and confident that he will be fully exonerated," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.