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Donald Trump, back in Washington for the first time since his tumultuous departure from the White House, delivered a speech worthy of a campaign candidate on Tuesday, ostensibly flirting with the idea of running for a new term.
He left with his head down. Donald Trump back in Washington, Tuesday, July 26, a year and a half after his turbulent departure from the White House – two weeks after the Capitol storming, was invited by the America First Policy Institute – a think tank run by its allies. The 76-year-old billionaire presented an action plan for the “Republican president who will return to the White House in 2024”.
For more than an hour and a half, he resumed his favorite themes – including the fight against immigration and crime – while fiercely attacking his successor Joe Biden, accused of having “brought the United States to its knees” . After painting an apocalyptic portrait of the country, he slipped: “The story is far from over and we are preparing for an incredible comeback, we have no other choice.”
In January 2021, the former real estate magnate left power, two weeks after the Capitol was attacked by hundreds of his supporters.
Since then, he had not set foot in the federal capital, while remaining at the heart of the attention of a parliamentary commission of inquiry responsible for shedding light on his role in this assault which shocked the whole world. The latter has just organized a series of well-attended public hearings which have lifted the veil on its maneuvers to stay in power.
Asked the same day on the NBC channel, the Minister of Justice, Merrick Garland, did not rule out the possibility of prosecuting Donald Trump. “We intend to hold to account whoever is criminally responsible for (their role in) the events around January 6, in any attempt to interfere with the legal transfer of power from one administration to another. “, he said.
Candidate “maybe a third time”
“It’s all a set-up”, the commission has “only thugs and pirates”, retorted Donald Trump, very combative, on Tuesday. “They want to get at me so that I’m no longer able to work for you, but I don’t think it’s going to work,” he added with a smile on his face. “Four more years”, then chanted the room, applauding him, referring to the duration of a possible new mandate.
Chance of the calendar, his former vice-president Mike Pence was also visiting Washington on Tuesday, where he took advantage of a speech in front of young conservatives to mark his difference with Donald Trump. “We do not agree on the priorities,” he said, rolling out a program focused on the fight against abortion and the protection of the right to bear arms and religious freedoms.
“It is absolutely essential (…) not to give in to the temptation to look back” and “to look to the future”, added this Christian conservative, who criticizes the former president for devoting too much time challenging the result of the 2020 election.
Donald Trump has never conceded defeat. Evoking, without any proof, “massive electoral fraud”, he has devoted most of his public interventions for two years to denouncing “a stolen election”. He, however, muted this speech on Tuesday. “I always say I ran once and won, then ran a second time and won even more votes,” he said. .
Before adding: “I may have to do it a third time!”, promising “details” in the coming weeks.
Donald Trump retains a central place with Republicans. He appears to have retained a core of loyal supporters, which would put him in pole position should he decide to seek the nomination.
But the critics are damaging his image, allowing his rivals – such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – to gain ground.
Nearly half of Republicans voting in the primaries would prefer someone other than Donald Trump, according to a recent New York Times and Siena College poll.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, which are owned by the influential Murdoch family, published editorials slamming Donald Trump’s behavior on January 6, 2021.
His speech was nevertheless followed at the highest level. “You may say I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t believe inciting a mob to attack police officers shows ‘respect for the law’,” Joe Biden tweeted.
You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-cop.
You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy.
You can’t be pro-insurgency and pro-American.pic.twitter.com/DCHprpK9Sx
—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 26, 2022
“If you’re pro-insurgency, you can’t be pro-police, pro-democracy, or pro-American,” continued the 79-year-old president, who could also run for a second term in 2024.