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Friday, April 12, 2024

‘I’m Being Indicted for You,’ Trump Tells South Dakota Rally


When Donald J. Trump got here to South Dakota in July 2020, then a president in the course of his re-election marketing campaign, he stood in entrance of Mount Rushmore and outlined a darkish imaginative and prescient of what he claimed his opponents on the left would do to the nation.

Three years, an election defeat and 4 indictments later, Mr. Trump returned on Friday to South Dakota for a rally, the place he struck an analogous message: that he was the only real bulwark maintaining America from falling into smash.

“They’re simply destroying our nation,” Mr. Trump informed a crowd of roughly 7,000, this time at a hockey area in Speedy Metropolis, S.D. “And if we don’t take it again — if we don’t take it again in ’24, I actually consider we’re not going to have a rustic left.”

Showing at a large-scale occasion for the primary time since he stood for a mug shot in Georgia late final month, Mr. Trump acknowledged that his circumstances had modified. But he referred to the 4 felony circumstances in opposition to him proudly — and as an applause line.

“I’m being indicted for you,” Mr. Trump, the front-runner within the G.O.P. presidential main race, mentioned to the viewers. “That’s not a part of the job description,” he added, “however I’m being indicted for you.”

Mr. Trump didn’t point out the Georgia indictment or the reserving picture whilst his marketing campaign has used it in fund-raising appeals and started promoting merchandise with the picture as quickly because it was launched. A smattering of attendees have been sporting T-shirts that includes Mr. Trump’s mug shot and the phrase “By no means Give up.”

“The mug shot did good for him,” mentioned Lydia Lozano of Summerset, S.D., who wore Mr. Trump’s mug shot on a blue T-shirt with the define of an American flag. The costs in Georgia, she added, didn’t trouble her, nor did Mr. Trump’s different indictments.

“They’re simply greedy at straws to attempt to get him to cease working,” Ms. Lozano mentioned. “And he’s working anyway.”

Mr. Trump, too, marveled that his ballot numbers within the main had appeared to rise after his indictments. “I’m the one individual within the historical past of politics who has been indicted whose ballot numbers went up,” he mentioned.

Nonetheless, polls have proven {that a} majority of Individuals consider his felony circumstances have been warranted, and a few Republicans fear that the 91 complete expenses in opposition to him may harm him within the normal election. Mr. Trump’s authorized points may additionally create logistical and monetary challenges that would make it tough for him to marketing campaign successfully.

South Dakota, the place Republicans have a agency stronghold, is a curious selection for an occasion throughout a political marketing campaign. It doesn’t maintain an early nominating contest, and it doesn’t qualify as a battleground state. The final time a Democratic presidential candidate received the state was 1964.

Nonetheless, as Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign has tried to cut back its prices, particularly as Mr. Trump’s authorized charges mount, it has welcomed alternatives for the previous president to attend large-scale occasions held by different teams quite than staging its personal costly ones.

Friday’s rally was organized by the South Dakota Republican Get together. The Republican governor of the state, Kristi Noem — who endorsed Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign in her remarks introducing him — mentioned that organizers had invited different candidates however that Mr. Trump was the one one who had accepted.

Ms. Noem additionally labored to deliver Mr. Trump to Mount Rushmore for the Independence Day celebration in 2020. A looping video of that look greeted the crowds submitting into the world on Friday.

Talking for about 110 minutes, Mr. Trump largely doubled down on his 2020 remarks, repeatedly saying that Democrats have been threatening to rewrite historical past, substitute America’s foundational values and deface monuments like Mount Rushmore. However he was much less obscure on Friday concerning the perceived threats to the nation, singling out particular political opponents.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a political rival within the Republican main, was an “unskilled politician” who “sided with the communists” in opposition to farmers. Tv networks have been “evil.” President Biden, he mentioned, was “grossly incompetent and really harmful,” if not “probably the most crooked president in historical past.”

As he has repeatedly, he claimed with out proof that every one 4 circumstances in opposition to him have been a part of a politically motivated marketing campaign by Mr. Biden. (Two of the circumstances are being introduced by native prosecutors in New York and Georgia, whereas the 2 federal circumstances are being led by an impartial particular counsel.)

The audio system who preceded him superior his view.

“What number of indictments does it take to steal the presidential election in 2024?” Josh Haeder, South Dakota’s treasurer, rhetorically requested. “Right here’s the reply: There’s not sufficient, as a result of Donald Trump would be the subsequent president of the USA of America.”

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