WACO, Texas – Former President Donald Trump vowed that “2024 will be the final war” and that he would address the allegations against him as he held his first official campaign rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
“They’re not coming after me — they’re coming after you and I’m going to stand in their way because in 2024, we’re going to have the biggest victory of them all,” Trump told a cheering crowd of several thousand in Waco. Regional Airport.
Although the rally was previously scheduled, it came exactly one week after Trump post On social media he hoped he would be arrested last Tuesday. However, the week came and went without any charges or arrests, but that didn’t stop the mob in Waco.
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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Investigated Trump has accused business records of falsifying “hush money” payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Trump maintains his innocence and denies having an affair with Daniels.
At Saturday’s rally, he said, “I never like to ‘face the horse,'” in an apparent reference to Daniels, and then added, “We have a wonderful first lady,” referring to his wife, Melania Trump.
“And people see that it’s bull****, and they go and they say, unfair! But it’s committed by the wrong department,” Trump said.
In a nearly 90-minute speech, Trump said the “biggest threat” to the United States is not China or Russia, but American leaders including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, fellow Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“In many ways, these sick people are more threatening, because we can deal with China,” Trump said.
The former president blamed the Biden administration for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin “didn’t want to do it” and “wanted a piece” of Ukraine.
“Now it looks like he’s probably going to get the whole thing,” said Trump, who has claimed he can end the war after winning the 2024 election and before taking office.
He took a few swipes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another potential 2024 Republican candidate. The former president blasted DeSantis for failing to return his loyalty, in his estimation. Trump endorsed DeSantis before his successful gubernatorial bids in 2018 and 2022.
Trump suggested that DeSantis was not doing well in the polls and said that Florida had been successful for “many years” and “a long time” before he became governor.
“Florida has been successful for decades,” he said.
Some in the crowd said they liked DeSantis, but didn’t want him to face Trump in 2024.
“I really like (DeSantis), he’s doing a lot in Florida,” said Judy Campbell, who drove more than six hours for the rally with her husband, Ken. But both Campbells, who are retired, said they want DeSantis to wait.
“I’ve liked him so far” in recent sniping with Trump, Kane said.
“Love Disantis,” attendee Carrie Olivarez told CBS News. “But I think Trump is the only one who can turn this country around and get it back on the right track.”
The Manhattan DA’s investigation is one of several investigations into Trump. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents and the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Trump did not directly mention the January 6 attack, or his supporters who have been arrested in connection with it, although he did walk out for the national anthem sung by the “J6 Choir.”
One Trump supporter, Dolores Duderstadt of San Antonio, called those in prison because of convictions or convictions on Jan. 6 “political prisoners.”
Some Trump supporters at Saturday’s rally dismissed the Manhattan DA’s investigation as “political.”
“All politically motivated, every part of it,” Olivarez said.
“I think Alvin Bragg should be arrested and thrown in jail,” said Darwin VanValle, a Trump supporter. “We’re tired of Trump taking all the slings and arrows.”
Trump’s rally came on the 30th anniversary Waco Standoff Between the FBI and the Branch Davidians, a religious sect. The 51-day siege began on February 28, 1993, and resulted in 86 deaths.