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Waco, Texas — Former President Donald Trump promised that “2024 will be the final battle” and that he will overcome the accusations against him, as he held his first official campaign rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday.
“They’re not coming after me — they’re coming after you and I’ll stand in their way because in 2024, we’ll have the greatest victory of them all,” Trump told the exuberant crowd of several thousand at the Waco Regional Airport.
Although the rally had been previously scheduled, it came just one week after Trump posted on social media that he expected to be arrested last Tuesday. However, the week came and went without any indictment or arrest, but that didn’t deter the crowd in Waco.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating Trump for allegedly falsifying business records in connection to a “hush money” payout made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump has maintained his innocence and has denied ever having a relationship with Daniels.
At Saturday’s rally, he said “I never liked ‘horse face,'” in apparent reference to Daniels, and then said, “We have a great first lady,” referencing his wife, Melania Trump.
“And people see it’s bull****, and they go and they say, unfair! But it takes place by the Department of injustice,” Trump said.
In a nearly 90-minute speech, Trump said the “biggest threat” to the U.S. isn’t China or Russia, but American leaders including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Biden, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“In many ways, these sick people are more of a threat, because we can deal with China,” Trump said.
He took a few swipes at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential 2024 Republican candidate. The former president blasted DeSantis for, in his estimation, failing to return his loyalty. Trump endorsed DeSantis before his successful gubernatorial bid.
Trump suggested DeSantis isn’t doing well in the polls, and said Florida was successful for “many years,” and “long” before DeSantis became governor.
“Florida’s been successful for decades,” he said.
Trump’s rally came during the 30th anniversary of the Waco standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians, a religious sect. The 51-day siege began on Feb. 28, 1993, and resulted in the deaths of 86 people.