Trump described himself as a victim of an “unhinged persecution” in which witnesses of the January 6 insurrection he is accused of inciting were forced to turn against him. “They take good people and they say, ‘You’re going to jail for 10 years … unless you say something bad about Trump, in which case you won’t have to go to jail,’” Trump said.
He also alleged that the government “spied” on his campaign, “and nobody wants to do anything about it.”
“Can you imagine if I spied on the campaign of—forget Biden—how about Obama’s campaign?” Trump asked. “Can you imagine what (the punishment) would be? Maybe it would be death. They’d bring back the death penalty.”
Trump, so absorbed in his own public defense, even seemed to forget the reason he was at the rally and started taking shots at Vance. “J.D. is kissing my ass,” Trump said. “He wants my support so bad!”
It wasn’t a completely off-base political analysis. The number of Republicans overly devoted to the insurrectionist former president seems to be ever-growing, with some of the more prominent ones also in attendance at the Ohio rally.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called Trump the “one true leader” of the Republican Party. “He’s the one we elected in 2016 and the one we re-elected in 2020, who won the election,” she said, promoting utter lies. While “fresh off appearing to kick a climate activist on video” as Rolling Stone put it, Greene also mocked Democrats concerned about climate change.
“We know that cheap gas won’t last,” Greene said at the rally. “You want to know why? Democrats worship the climate. We worship God.”
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, another Trump supporter, also referenced God in saying he “prayed” then-Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff would win in runoff elections last January because it helped cement the claim of widespread “election crime” happening in the United States.
There is no such evidence of widespread election fraud, by the way—a fun fact Republicans choose to ignore alongside their fear-inducing leader.
“We are a nation in decline,” Trump said at the close of his speech. He failed to mention he’s a large reason why.