Trump compares Biden admin to Nazis and attacks prosecutor in tirade to Republican donors

Comments come as former president’s high-profile hush money trial continues

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Sunday 05 May 2024 18:04 BST
Trump backtracks on false claim about gag order

Donald Trump compared the Biden administration to the Nazi secret police in a rambling, hour-and-a-half speech to Republican donors in Florida on Saturday.

Speaking to a crowd gathered for the Republican National Committee’s donor retreat in Florida, Mr Trump complained about the various indictments against him and baselessly alleged they’re part of a coordinated Biden administration plot.

“These people are running a Gestapo administration,” Mr Trump said, according to audio of the event obtained by The New York Times.

“And it’s the only thing they have,” he added. “And it’s the only way they’re going to win, in their opinion, and it’s actually killing them. But it doesn’t bother me.”

North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, who attended the event and is thought to be a potential vice-presidential pick for Mr Trump, later defended the inflammatory comparison.

In an interview on Sunday with CNN, Mr Burgum downplayed the Gestapo remark as a “short comment” that “wasn’t really central to what he [Trump] was talking about,” before continuing to say that many Americans agree with the underlying sentiment.

“The majority of Americans feel like the trial that he’s in was politically motivated and if it was anbody else it wouldn’t even be happening. I understand that he feels like he’s being unfairly treated,” the North Dakota Republican said. “It’s reasonable that someone who’s being kept off the campaign trail as the presumptive nominee has got some frustration.”

The rest of Mr Trump’s remarks were similarly aggressive, a series of insults to various perceived enemies and brags about his own standing.

The former president reserved particular ire for special counsel Jack Smith, whom he branded a “f***ing a**hole and “unattractive both inside and out.”

He had more positive things to say about the various Republicans he claimed were “begging” to be his vice-president, praising potential picks like Representative Elise Stefanik, who fiercely questioned college presidents about antisemitism in a widely watched hearing, and Governor Burgum, who was deemed “really impressive.”

In another strange moment, Mr Trump said anyone who gave $1m to the GOP could come up and speak onstage themselves.

Two donors did eventually walk onstage, one of whom claimed, “Donald J Trump is the person that God has chosen.”

While Mr Trump appeared unguarded at the RNC event in Palm Beach, he continues to face heavy scrutiny in the courts.

This week, former top aide Hope Hicks testified in Mr Trump’s criminal hush trial in Manhattan, the most high-profile member of the former president’s circle to take the stand.

The former White House communications director broke down in tears during her remarks, in testimony that described Trump allies reacting with alarm to the release of the 2016 Access Hollywood tape and later affair allegations involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.

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