In a recent speech at the New York Young Republican Club’s annual gala, former President Donald Trump addressed his conservative supporters, reaffirming his allegiance to the far right and reiterating his controversial statement about becoming a “dictator” on “Day 1” if reelected.
During his address, Trump took the opportunity to boast about his victory in the 2016 election, even in the wake of the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. This tape featured Trump making derogatory remarks about women, sparking widespread condemnation and calls for him to withdraw from the race.
Trump, seemingly off-the-cuff, brought up the “Access Hollywood” tape, describing it as the most significant challenge he faced in politics. He quoted his own words from the tape, where he boasted about his ability to engage in inappropriate behavior with women.
During the speech, Trump shared that all his advisers, except for Steve Bannon, had urged him to drop out of the 2016 race after the tape’s release. He claimed that an unnamed general had told him that his explanation of “locker room talk” was the bravest thing he had ever seen, even more so than witnessing people die on the battlefield.
Trump’s decision to bring up the “Access Hollywood” tape, which has not been in the headlines for years, is indicative of his ability to brush aside scandal while still maintaining popularity with the Republican base.
While campaigning for a third time for the White House, Trump faces multiple legal battles, including four criminal trials. Trump alleges that these legal challenges are part of a more significant effort to impede his political rise, an accusation that prosecutors have denied.
During the speech, Trump also focused on retribution and retaliation, appearing to threaten President Joe Biden. He stated that if elected, he would appoint a special prosecutor to go after Biden and his family, whom he blamed for the country’s alleged destruction.
In an upbeat manner, Trump referenced his recent comments during a town hall with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, where he suggested that he would only act like a dictator on “Day 1” if reelected, specifically concerning immigration and energy policies.
The New York Young Republican Club’s gala has a reputation for making headlines due to its controversial speeches and the controversies surrounding its attendees. The event honored figures such as Steve Bannon, who was convicted of contempt of Congress, and Rudy Giuliani, who is charged with Trump in a Georgia election subversion indictment. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty.
During the gala, the club’s president, Gavin Wax, expressed a desire for retribution, stating that it was time to turn the tables on those who had subjected Trump to baseless investigations and media lies.