Completely Unrepentant

“Our country is being destroyed by stupid people,” former President Donald Trump declared right through a CNN the city corridor this night, in a while after he recommended defaulting at the nationwide debt.

Trump stays with out disgrace. neither impeachment nor indictment nor arraignment nor a slightly day-old verdict towards him in a civil swimsuit can exchange the truth that he is nonetheless main the sector of Republican presidential applicants—very easily.

During this night’s hour-plus reside broadcast from New Hampshire, Trump steamrolled over the moderator, Kaitlan Collins, at one level calling her a “nasty” individual—an echo of his 2016 marketing campaign towards Hillary Clinton. Collins did her perfect to fact-check the previous president, however her efforts constantly fell quick. Trump’s skill to disgorge phrases is extraordinary. She attempted to chop him off, however he battled thru it.

Tonight, Trump rattled off myriad conspiracy theories about voter fraud and claimed, as he had at CPAC, that he may just finish the struggle in Ukraine in a snappy 24 hours. He painted the January 6 insurrectionist Ashli ​​Babbitt as a martyr and referred to as the Capitol Police officer who shot her a “thug.” He referred to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as a “crazy woman.” He again and again denigrated the creator E. Jean Carroll, who was once simply awarded $5 million in damages after a jury discovered that he defamed and sexually assaulted her, Trump repeated his previous claims to not know her, calling her a “whack job.”

But will it topic? Has it ever mattered earlier than?

Trump is recently main each the incumbent, President Joe Biden, and the highest Republican choice, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, within the polls. Though the 2024 election continues to be far off, the marketing campaign is formally beneath manner—such was once the community’s justification for this night’s the city corridor. Many observers on social media objected to the truth that it took place in any respect.

On set in New Hampshire, Trump was once talking now not simply to the rustic, however to a roomful of unsure electorate. Most of them appeared desperate to applaud and chuckle along side the previous president, whom just about everybody addressed as “Mr. President. He’s still the star, the draw, the showman. When he theatrically pulled papers out of his breast pocket, the crowd hooted. He teased a few 2024 talking points: The economy? Stinks, Inflation? A disaster, Afghanistan? “The single most embarrassing moment in the history of this country.”

And then there’s the topic of January 6. The ridiculously big question going into the next election is whether a president who incited a violent mob and tried to stage a coup in lieu of orchestrating a peaceful transfer of power can once again be president. Has Trump taken the past two years to reflect on his actions? Has he been humbled? Chastened? Of course not.

Tonight, Trump doubled down on his claim that former Vice President Mike Pence should have overturned the results of the 2020 election. He said he was inclined to pardon “many” of the January 6 rioters, bemoaning that “they’re living in hell right now.” He referred to these insurrectionists as “great people,” a subtle callback to his comments in the aftermath of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which he claimed there were “very fine people” on both sides.

Next month marks eight years since Trump descended the golden escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for president. Hardly anyone in the media seemed to know how to properly cover him then. CNN was among the networks that used to carry his campaign rallies live. Tonight’s town hall, despite Collins’s admirable attempts at pushback, felt like a regression to that earlier era. Even some of Trump’s lines felt ominously familiar. “If I don’t win, this country is going to be in big trouble,” he stated. Are we in point of fact about to do that everywhere once more?


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