President Trump delivered a nearly 90-minute-long speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Thursday night in which he suggested he may yet lock up Hillary Clinton and smeared immigrants as violent murderers.
When Trump mentioned Clinton, the crowd broke out in “lock her up!” chants. Trump responded by saying, “Some things just take a little bit longer.” He then complained that his Justice Department “only wants to go after Republicans. You look at the kind of criminal actions and crime — they only want to go after the Republicans.”
Trump focused much of his speech at Thursday’s campaign-style rally on immigration, touting his border wall and taking his familiar fearmongering about supposedly criminal immigrants to the extreme.
Trump disclosed that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have been advising him to shut down the government unless he gets more than $20 billion in funding for his border wall before the 2018 midterm election.
Trump then lied about the wall, falsely claiming “we’re building it.” In reality, Trump hasn’t received any money to build the structure, which he promised during his campaign that Mexico would fund.
Alluding to a possible shut down, Trump said, “we are going to start to get very nasty over the wall.”
At another point, Trump sought to scare people about the risks posed by immigrants by referring to MS-13 as “slicers” and “animals” and mimicking the motions of a person being stabbed.
The president went on to literally accuse visa lottery recipients of murder.
“‘Our fist lottery winner — let’s see, he has seven convictions for death. He’s killed nine people.’ And we’re getting him the hell out of our country!” Trump said.
In fact, visa lottery recipients are vetted just like all legal immigrants are, and immigrants — both undocumented and otherwise — commit crimes at rates no higher than American citizens.
Trump repeatedly denigrated “the fake, fake, disgusting news” media during his speech on Thursday, calling reporters “horrible, horrendous people” and accusing them of making up stories. He had warm things to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin and denigrated NATO. He indicated he’s not familiar with the difference between England and the United Kingdom and falsely claimed he’s cut regulations to such a point that highways that used to wait 21 years for approval now receive it in just two years.
“It’s going to be one year very shortly,” Trump said.
At one point, Trump mockingly mimicked cancer-stricken Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his decisive vote last summer against repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 3, 2018
After his speech concluded, Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro unironically spun Trump’s performance as “positive” and “funny.”
“He was positive, he was funny. But more importantly, he had a message of success,” she said.