Donald Trump called for the homeless to be placed in specialized camps and boasted of sending the Secret Service to sweep the search tents Monday, in his first speech back in Washington, DC since he left the White House.
In a sombre speech that lasted more than an hour, the former president hammered the Biden administration on the crime wave sweeping the country while dramatically listing some of the more horrific incidents that have made headlines in the past year.
He also echoed previous calls for the death penalty on drug dealers, claiming that “If you execute a drug dealer, you save 500 lives.”
“Open up large plots of cheap land on the outskirts of the city,” Trump said. “Make thousands and thousands of high-quality tents.”
He said it was the “only way to remove the hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe millions of people across our country,” referring to the homeless.
“It can be done in one day,” Trump said.
He also sprinkled his comments with multiple hints that he is considering running for president again in 2024.
“You still have someone in the White House who can’t pull it off,” Trump said, calling on Republicans in Congress to make reforms on the border, crime and inflation.
“I think help is coming and I think it will be a lot faster than people think.”
At one point, the supporting crowd erupted into cries of “four more years.”
Donald Trump spoke for over an hour at the America First Policy Institute summit in Washington, DC
The former president also previewed a White House agenda that would arm the National Guard against crime-ridden cities. He called for the president’s command over the armed forces to lift that of the governors.
“If there is a real breakdown of public order, the federal government can and should send the National Guard without waiting for the approval of a governor who believes it is politically incorrect,” Trump said.
“The next president must send the National Guard to the most dangerous parts of Chicago so that security can be restored.”
Tuesday marks Trump’s first return to the capital since his departure in January 2021.
Both pro- and anti-Trump protesters lined the street outside the Marriott Marquis, even hours before the former president was due to appear at the America First Policy Institute summit.
Founded by former members of his administration, the right-wing think tank is committed to promoting policies he implemented while in office and policies that would have been championed in a second Trump term.
The former president’s return comes at the end of a series of hearings by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Lawmakers on the panel chaired eight presentations with explosive testimony portraying last year’s attack as coordinated opposition by Trump and his allies to lawmakers confirming President Joe Biden’s election victory.
His speech at the Marriott is the ex-president’s third in a week as he continues to fuel speculation that he wants to mount a third White House campaign.
Former Trump Vice President Mike Pence is generating his own 2024 buzz with a separate appearance in DC just hours before the former president’s.
Pence explained his “freedom agenda” in a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday morning. During the comments, he also took a veiled jab at Trump and his continued push for the 2020 election was manipulated.
“I don’t know if the president and I disagree on certain matters, but we can disagree on the focus,” Pence said.
‘I really believe that elections are about the future. And that at a time when so many Americans are hurting, so many families are struggling, it’s imperative that we don’t give in to the temptation to look back.”