Dana Gentry, Nevada Current
January 27, 2024
Fresh from a jury’s $83.3 million judgment against him Friday for defaming a woman he sexually assaulted in a New York department store dressing room, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke Saturday for an hour to supporters in East Las Vegas.
A two-time loser in Nevada in 2016 and 2020, Trump is hoping the third time will be the charm. He wooed voters Saturday in a baseball park in East Las Vegas, an area with large minority populations.
Trump focused on immigration, his expectations of winning the vote in minority communities, and his own legal problems, saying he’s been indicted more than “Al Capone, the great gangster – he was indicted less than me.”
Capone was indicted six times. Trump is facing four indictments, for a total of 91 felony counts in a variety of criminal cases, as well as civil charges in state and district courts, including: a wide-ranging conspiracy case in Georgia involving the 2020 presidential election; the Jan. 6 insurrection case out of Wshington, D.C.; the Mar-a-Lago documents case; a business fraud case involving alleged hush money payments to former porn actress Stormy Daniels; a business fraud case in which New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges Trump and his family schemed to inflate Trump’s net worth and obtain better terms on loans; and a planned appeal of the judgment in the sexual assault of E. Jean Carroll, a popular advice columnist for Elle, who says Trump’s disparaging comments destroyed her career and reputation. He will be required to post either 20% of the $83.3 million judgment in a bond or deposit the entire judgment amount with the court in order to appeal.
Trump repeatedly cast himself as a Christlike-character sent to take away the sins of the world.
“I am a victim and it’s my great honor. Look at yesterday,” he said of the $83.3 million judgment. “Look at all the crap that has gone on. We just keep going. We just keep marching forward.”
Trump suggested Abraham Lincoln is the most maligned president in history, adding if he’s not maligned more than Lincoln, “I’ll be very disappointed.”
“Our enemies want to take away your freedom. They aren’t after me. They are after you. I just happen to be standing in the way,” he said, repeating a familiar staple of his stump speech.
Much of Trump’s focus was on the U.S. border. He asserted that in the 2020 election he “didn’t have the border to run on. I did such a good job I took it out of play.”
The former president suggested the border crisis hurts African-Americans and Hispanics most, and said Latino unemployment was at a record low during his administration.
However, the U.S. Department of Labor reports in September 2021, during the Biden administration, the unemployment rate for Hispanic and Latino workers fell to 3.8% – the lowest rate since 1973, the year the Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording it.
Trump said that by the time he is reinstated as president, 18 million people will have illegally crossed the border.
Pew Research estimated in 2021 there were 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
He suggested a “record number of terrorists” have crossed the border, adding there’s a “100% chance there will be a terrorist attack, so many attacks maybe.”
It’s unknown whether any terrorists have crossed the border. Some individuals have been stopped at the border and placed on Homeland Security’s watch list. However, they have not been permitted in the country.
Trump noted that Speaker Mike Johnson vows the immigration bill under consideration in the Senate is “dead on arrival in the House.”
Senate Republicans suggest Trump is working to derail the legislation in an effort to keep the contentious issue in voters’ minds.
The former president suggested the world is “100%” on the brink of war.
“I hope I’m not right about WWIII because you’re very close,” and said Russia’s war on Ukraine and the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel “would have never happened” had he been in office.
While he voiced support for Israel, he did not address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, nor did he endorse an end-game for the conflict or give his position on a two-state solution.
The former president has been noticeably subdued on the topic, perhaps because the Biden administration faces an impossible task of supporting Israel, America’s greatest ally in the region, and retaining the support of Democrats, as well as nonpartisan voters who are calling for increased humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, as well as an end to the war.
Trump, who recently confused his primary foe, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mocked Joe Biden, demeaned his cognitive skills and advocated for “aptitude tests” for presidential candidates older than 70.
He called his Republican opponent Haley “completely unlikable” and asserted she “can’t beat Joe Biden.” However, polls have indicated Haley, in a horse race with Biden, fares better than Trump.
While Trump has won the two primary contests to date, his support among burgeoning independent voters lagged in the New Hampshire primary. In 2016, Trump won nonpartisan voters in that primary, but lost them this year to Haley, according to Democrats.
Republican voters are not all on board the MAGA express. A whopping 88% of New Hampshire voters who supported Haley say they would be disappointed if Trump is the nominee, according to Democratic campaign officials.
Trump noted the Republican National Committee wanted to give him the nomination following his wins in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, in which a tiny percentage of the nation’s registered Republicans cast votes, but said he wanted to win fair and square.
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