Former President Donald Trump insists Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has ‘nothing’ on him, slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and insulted Stormy Daniels during the first mega-rally of his 2024 campaign.
Trump chose Waco, Texas – and flew in on ‘Trump Force One,’ which circled the thousands of MAGA faithful awaiting his arrival on the tarmac.
He came onstage to his trademark ‘God Bless the U.S.A.,’ but played the January 6 prison choir’s ‘Justice For All,’ directly after – with imagery of the Capitol attack playing on the jumbotrons behind him.
He then called the 2024 election the ‘final battle’ against the ‘enemies desperate to stop us.’
,You put me back in the White House, their (the enemies) reign will be over and America will be a free nation once again.’
The rally comes as Trump has berated prosecutors, encouraged protests and raised the prospect of possible violence should he become the first former president in US history to face criminal charges, which could come as early as next week by Bragg, a Democrat
‘They have nothing!’ Trump exclaimed in reference to the probe, saying Bragg’s office was ‘stocked with D.C. operatives.’
Former President Donald Trump held his first Texas rally Saturday in Waco where he said Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg had ‘nothing’ on him
Some audience members held Trump 2024 signs that read ‘Witch Hunt’ and waved them behind the ex-president’s podium.
Trump called the hush-money case ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and said it was ‘worse than ballot stuffing, or media manipulation by the FBI working together with Twitter, Facebook and the rest.’
‘It probably makes me the most innocent man in the history of our country. Friends of mine say that,’ Trump said. ‘They persecuted us yet Joe Biden is a stone cold criminal, caught dead to rights and nothing happens.
He then turned his attention to Daniels, who claims she was told to keep quiet about a 2006 affair with Trump. The former president used his familiar nickname for the porn star.
‘I never liked horseface… that wouldn’t be the one. There is no one. We have a great first lady!’
Trump chose Waco, Texas – and flew in on ‘Trump Force One,’ which circled the thousands of MAGA faithful awaiting his arrival on the tarmac
Trump holds his right hand over his heart. He came onstage to his trademark ‘God Bless the U.S.A.,’ but played the January 6 prison choir ‘ Justice For All ,’ directly after
At the rally, Trump used the nickname ‘horse face’ for Stormy Daniels (right), the porn star who was given $130,000 in hush-money ahead of the 2016 election to keep quiet about a 2006 tryst with Trump
Trump also took a crack at his favorite political punching bag of late – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will likely launch a 2024 presidential bid against the ex-president.
Trump knocked Ron ‘DeSanctimonious,’ saying that he ‘shut down’ Florida over COVID-19 and said that now that people are realizing it, ‘he’s dropping like a rock.’
He then recounted how he felt DeSantis begged Trump for his endorsement in his 2018 run for governor.
‘He’s at almost nothing, he’s got no cash,’ Trump said, then described DeSantis as telling him: ‘If you endorse, I’ll win, please sir, please endorse me.’
‘I said lets give it a shot Ron, I endorsed him and he became like a rocket ship.’
He then boasted that ‘Florida has been successful for decades. Probably as or more successful as it is now,’ minimizing DeSantis’ contributions to the state.
Turning to his likely general election opponent, should Trump again win the Republican primary next year, the ex-president lashed out at President Joe Biden, calling him ‘cognitively impaired’ and poking fun at the 80-year-old preident’s most recent gaffe.
A Trump supporter holds up an ‘Arrest Alvin Bragg’ t-shirt during Saturday’s rally in Waco, Texas
Trump is pictured arriving at his rally Saturday in Waco, Texas – his first 2024 rally in the Lone Star State
A slimmed down version of former President Trump left West Palm Beach International Airport Waco, Texas Saturday for the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign
Trump spent the Friday before his big Waco rally on his West Palm Beach golf course
The former president was spotted golfing on Friday as he waits to find out if he’ll be indicted over his role in a hush-money scheme that played out before the 2016 election
‘But I watched Joe Biden say, “I’d like to thank China,’ and he’s in Canada,’ Trump said to laughs. ‘The entire room starts laughing. “I’d like to China,” but he’s in Canadian parliament. “I mean Canada.” The whole place, the whole place was laughing.’
‘They’re laughing at our country. We don’t want anybody to laugh – nobody laughed at our country when I ran it, I can tell you that,’ Trump added.
‘The only way to stop these arsonists is to rebuke and reject this evil persecution by sending us straight back to the White House,’ Trump then said.
Trump has also pushed the MAGA wing of the party to not support the Ukraine war, despite most Capitol Hill Republicans signing off on U.S. funding to help the effort.
Trump said Saturday that the Ukraine war would have never happened under his watch.
‘I used to talk to Putin, I got along well with Putin, I used to talk to Putin about it. It’s something he certainly had on his mind. I never even talked about it. For four years you didn’t even hear about it,’ Trump said. ‘As soon as I was out, or left, or however you want to describe that catastrophe, they started putting soldiers on the border.’
Trump predicted that Russia would win the war.
‘But even then, he didn’t want to do it, he wanted to get a piece – now it looks like he’ll end up, probably, getting the whole thing,’ Trump said.
Trump hit a number of his political enemies during his first big airport rally of the 2024 cycle
Trump is photograhed as he arrives in Waco, Texas Saturday for the first mega-rally of the 2024 campaign
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene waves to supporters as Trump’s Waco, Texas rally on Saturday
Trump pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
‘If you saw the other day with President Xi, smart, top of his game, President Putin, smart, very smart people, standing there talking about the world order for the next 100 years,’ Trump said. ‘That’s one of the saddest things you can imagine.’
Trump boasted that he didn’t start a new war during his four-year term and again pledged not to start World War III.
As for how Ukraine would end, he said he’d ‘get a settlement very quickly.’
‘And I know both people and you can get it very, very quickly,’ suggesting he could even end the Ukraine war in ’24 hours.’
A number of MAGA celebrities opened for Trump including Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.
When Trump gave them shout-outs from the podium he noted that the two lawmakers are ‘some people who are very quiet that you don’t know much about,’ garnering laughs.
During her earlier speech, Greene recounted her recent trip to the D.C. jail to visit those charged with crimes related to the January 6 Capitol attack.
Despite the deaths of several law enforcement officers related to the violent MAGA riot, Trump had a message for them Saturday.
‘You will be vindicated and proud,’ he said. ‘The thugs and criminals who are corrupting our justice system will be defeated, discredited and totally disgraced.’
Musician Ted Nugent was tasked to perform the national anthem – but before he did so, had the crowd hold a moment of silence for the January 6 ‘political prisoners.’
Performing at a Donald Trump presidential campaign event in Waco, Texas, Ted Nugent called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky a ‘homosexual weirdo.’
‘How about a prayer for the political prisoners in Washington, D.C., who are victims of jack-booted thugs by Uncle Sam, who defied their oath to the Constitution and arrested Americans and do not allow them Constitutional rights,’ Nugent said.
Afterward, Nugent said he had a few ideas for the country.
‘Secure my border!’ he yelled.
‘Give me my tax dollars back. I didn’t authorize killing babies at Planned Parenthood,’ he said. ‘I want my tax dollars back. I want my tax dollars back. I didn’t authorize giving our military hardware to the Taliban.’
‘I want my money back,’ he continued. ‘I didn’t authorize any money to Ukraine to some homosexual weirdo,’ a reference to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is not gay.
David Koresh was the leader of the cult claimed to be Christ, and his followers were involved in a standoff with police at the compound in 1993
Fire consumes the Branch Davidian Compound during the FBI assault to end the 51-day standoff with cult leader David Koresh and his followers in March 1993
Trump’s holding of a rally in Waco is a statement – that he was sieged by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago and that they were accusing him of different things that aren’t really true, just like David Koresh was accused by the FBI when they sieged him,’ Koresh’s successor, Pastor Charles Pace, told the New York Times.
Trump’s campaign insisted the location and timing of the event had nothing to do with the Waco siege or anniversary. Instead, a spokesperson said the site was chosen because it was conveniently situated near four of the state’s biggest metropolitan areas — Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — and has the infrastructure to handle a sizable crowd.
The city is part of McLennan County, which Trump won in 2020 by more than 23 points. The airport where the rally is being held is 17 miles from the Branch Davidian compound.
The rally had already been in the works before it became clear that a grand jury in New York was drawing closer to a possible indictment.
The former president, 76 but looking svelte in a navy suit, white shirt and no tie with an American flag pin at the West Palm Beach International Airport
Former President Donald Trump exits his vehicle as he arrives to board his airplane
Trump’s campaign insisted the location and timing of the event had nothing to do with the Waco siege or anniversary
The rally had already been in the works before it became clear that a grand jury in New York was drawing closer to a possible indictment as it investigates hush money payments made to women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump during the height of his 2016 campaign
The timing will give Trump an opportunity to demonstrate his continued popularity with the GOP base and to portray himself as the victim of a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’
Supporter waves a Trump flag while waiting in line for former US President Donald Trump to speak during his Make America Great Again Rally at the Waco Regional Airport Center in Waco, Texas
Some of his recent rhetoric has echoed language he used before the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to stop the transfer of power.
‘What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States…and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?’ Trump wrote on his social media site early Friday.
The grand jury is investigating the hush money payment and is expected to meet again Monday in New York.