In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law. Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.
Aaron Blake at WP:
As The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey reported Sunday, Trump’s speech reserved the heaviest and newest criticisms for the man who is currently the most powerful Republican in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). Trump hit McConnell for not helping overturn the 2020 election and called him a “dumb son of a b----,” while accusing him of being ungrateful for Trump’s appointment of McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, to his Cabinet.
Audio of the speech reviewed by The Post reveals that Trump at times went even further in going after his foes and revising electoral history, even lodging a suggestive attack involving former first lady Michelle Obama’s appearance.
Below are some key quotes from the speech.
McConnell wasn’t the only one Trump called an ingrate. That was also the verdict for another Republican who declined to toe Trump’s line on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and whom Trump has gone after before: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
But in prosecuting that grievance, Trump made a somewhat uncharacteristic comment about Michelle Obama — of whom he has often steered clear — while also using her husband’s middle name in a suggestive way.
“Oprah Winfrey camped out in Atlanta” in support of Kemp’s 2018 opponent Stacey Abrams, Trump claimed, wrongly saying that Winfrey was there for “months.”
Trump added: “Barack Hussein Obama and the very beautiful Michelle Obama were there for … ”
At this point, the audience laughed uproariously. Michelle Obama’s appearance has often served as a punchline in some portions of the conservative Internet.
“ … they were there for — forever,” Trump concluded.
Trump has a history of disparaging the appearances of women he doesn’t like. It was also an odd attack for another reason: Michelle Obama didn’t actually campaign for Abrams.
Trump will often oversell his crowds — his presidency began on that note — but even by those standards, his comments Saturday were amazing.
Trump claimed that the rally he addressed on Jan. 6 before the storming of the Capitol was the largest he had ever spoken to, despite estimates putting the crowd in the thousands.
“There was a rally for — however you want to define it — at the Capitol,” Trump said. “It was the largest crowd that I’d ever spoken to before. Some people say it was over a million people. It was tremendous.”
Speaking of ways in which Trump echoed the launch of his political career: He began his 2016 campaign by stating that rapists and murderers were coming across the southern border. And Saturday, with a border crisis emerging early on his successor’s watch, he rekindled that language.
“They’re not sending their best people,” Trump said. “You have murderers. You have rapists. You have drug dealers. You have people that they don’t want because that’s common sense, but that’s the way it is. Many of the people that are coming up are people that those countries don’t want.”
It was remarkably similar to the language Trump used in 2015.