Attacks on Ron DeSantis, Joe Biden and criminal charges

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday combined two familiar venues — Sean Hannity’s talk show and the state of Iowa — to showcase some campaign themes, in particular attacks on President Joe Biden, a variety of prosecutors criminals and the Republican challenger, Governor Ron DeSantis.

“I really go after whoever comes second,” Trump said of DeSantis at a friendly town hall in Clive, Iowa, located near Des Moines.

A week after DeSantis officially entered the race, Trump also referenced the importance of the Iowa caucuses and protested the litany of investigations into his past conduct.

Here’s what you need to know:

Target DeSantis – ignore the others

Cheered on by an enthusiastic pro-Trump crowd, the ex-president repeatedly mutilated DeSantis’ name, joked about his recent meeting with a reporter and indicated that he would continue to attack the Florida governor as long as he would remain competitive in the Republican. nomination contest.

“I don’t think he’ll stay second for long,” Trump said at one point. “I think he’s going to be third or fourth.”

Trump also mocked some of his other opponents, citing low poll numbers for challengers like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

“I don’t understand what they are doing,” Trump said.

Early in the day, DeSantis told a New Hampshire radio show that Trump’s name-calling discourages voters.

“I think it’s so petty,” DeSantis said. “I think it’s so juvenile. I don’t think that’s what voters want. And honestly, I think his conduct, which he’s been doing for years now, is one of the reasons he is not in the White House now.”

Donald Trump and Sean Hannity in 2018

Donald Trump and Sean Hannity in 2018

Are any other charges coming?

Trump appeared to prepare his supporters for the possibility of further criminal charges in the future, describing the series of investigations against him as political “election interference”.

Trump, who is under investigation for taking classified documents and trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat, has made the same arguments for months – including before his March indictment in New York for false declarations of silent money payments to a former mistress.

The former president did not discuss the details of the latest allegation: a CNN report that he discussed classified information about a potential attack on Iran with two people who helped the former chief of staff of the White House Mark Meadows with his memoirs.

“I don’t know,” Trump told Hannity. “All I know is that everything I did was right.”

The Iowa caucuses are crucial

Throughout the hour-long event, Trump continued to reference issues important to Iowa voters, whose caucuses early next year will open the Republican delegation selection process. Topics ranged from abortion to farm policy in a state where religious conservatives and farmers are major voters.

“There’s no way I’m losing Iowa,” Trump said, echoing comments he made during his campaign earlier in the day.

The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, cited Trump’s boast that his Supreme Court appointees voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“In what was mostly an incoherent and disjointed appearance full of lies recycled on Fox News, Donald Trump spoke the truth at least once in his safe space – no one did more than him to pave the way for the ban of abortion across the country,” the DNC said.

Hitting Biden

Trump, answering questions from Hannity, spent more time attacking Biden than his Republican opponents.

This included Biden’s age, as the Fox host asked about the 80-year-old president’s journey and fall and his speech during graduation ceremonies at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Trump claimed he asked Hannity not to joke about Biden’s situation, but said the Air Force incident was “sad” and that Biden “doesn’t understand what’s going on in the world. “.

“It was a bad fall,” said Trump, who is 76 himself.

Biden got to his feet straight away after tripping over a sandbag left on the stage. After returning to the White House a few hours later, he joked with reporters, “I got sandbagged!”

“You Need Six Months”

Trump continued to make incredible promises, repeating that he could end the Russian-Ukrainian war “within 24 hours”, a claim members of both parties have denounced as irresponsible.

During his discussion of the war, Trump found time to again criticize DeSantis for saying he would need two terms to “kill the deep state” and fix the problems caused by bureaucracy.

“You need six months,” Trump said at the town hall, repeating statements he made earlier in the day.

Asked about Trump’s claim, DeSantis said, “My question for him would be, Well, you’ve already turned four, why didn’t you kill him then?”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump Town Hall in Hannity: Attacks on DeSantis and Biden in Iowa

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