Former President Donald Trump made his first appearance before a large crowd since his latest indictment in Georgia last month, stoking a raucous crowd in South Dakota where he was endorsed by Gov. Kristi Noem.
Climbing onto the stage at the 10,000-seat The Monument in Rapid City to the strains of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” Trump was overwhelmingly cheered by a boisterous crowd which frequently interrupted his address with cheers and chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A.”
Titled the “Monumental Leaders Rally,” the gathering was a South Dakota Republican Party fundraising event.
Trump touted his administration’s achievements and bashed President Joe Biden, particularly on the state of the economy.
“And no damage has been worse than the disaster known as Bidenomics,” Trump said. “You know, he was given that term as a negative. And he liked the way it sounded. So he tried to turn it because they’re all about disinformation and misinformation.
“But they are the party of disinformation. And so, he tried to turn Bidenomics into a good thing. It’s not a good thing. It’s a real bad thing. It was meant very bad, but he liked the sound of the name. You know, he doesn’t know too much about what’s going on anymore.”
Trump also ridiculed Biden for the scandal involving his son Hunter Biden, making general references to reports from the House Oversight Committee, which has unveiled an FBI report quoting a confidential source that claimed he was told by the head of Ukrainian energy concern Burisma that he paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each while the latter was vice president.
Trump also spent time mocking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his top challenger for the Republican nomination, calling him disloyal.
The only other Republican opponent Trump identified by name was former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Trump addressed his indictments in four separate cases, two federal and one each in New York and Georgia, by deriding Biden, the Department of Justice and the Democrat prosecutors in Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, and Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis.
“But remember, it’s a Democrat,” he said. “Charging his opponent. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it. That means that if I win, and somebody wants to run against me. I call my attorney general. I say, ‘Listen, indict him.’ ‘Well, he hasn’t done anything wrong that we know.’ ‘I don’t know, indict him on income tax evasion, you’ll figure it out.’
“We have to stop it. But if they’re allowed, what will happen, whether it’s me or anybody else, if they’re allowed to do it, that means that the Republicans are allowed to do it. And then you get into this situation which is really very bad and very dangerous for our country.”
Noem’s endorsement was the fourth by a sitting governor, joining Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Jim Justice of West Virginia, and Henry McMaster of South Carolina. He’s also received support from nearly a dozen U.S. senators, numerous members of the House of Representatives along with countless other former administration members, state and local politicians.
“Kristi, I’m truly honored to receive your endorsement very much,” he said. “I appreciate it. Thank you very much. It’s very, it’s a great honor. I get endorsements: some good, some bad. I get endorsements. Some don’t mean anything. Hers means a lot. Let me tell you.”
Brian Trusdell ✉
Brian Trusdell is the managing editor at Newsmax. He has more than 40 years of experience in the news industry covering news, sports and entertainment, including reporting from six continents.
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