Donald Trump spoke at a rally in Michigan on Saturday night to bolster Republican candidates in the state.
The former president began with a message of support for those affected by Hurricane Ian before quickly moving on to some of his often-mentioned issues, including repeating his baseless claims about the 2020 election being stolen from him.
Speaking at the Macomb County Community College Sports and Expo Center in Warren for about an hour and 40 minutes, Trump hit out at the FBI for executing a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago home and called the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol “sick, sick, people.”
He also had praise for Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and teased a 2024 run for the White House.
Here, Newsweek rounds up some key moments from the rally.
“Before we begin, I want to send our profound sympathy and our immense support to everyone back in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, who are struck by this brutal wrath of the hurricane. Not a good hurricane, this was a big one,” Trump said.
“We just wanna say hello to everybody in that area and we wanna say we love you very much and we do… please know our hearts are with you and our prayers are with you.”
Trump praised Ginni Thomas after she reiterated her belief that the 2020 election was stolen earlier this week.
“As we talk about and think of the rigged and stolen election of 2020—the presidential election, rigged and stolen—I would like to thank a great woman named Ginni Thomas. Do you know Ginni Thomas? Great woman,” he said.
“She says that she still believes the 2020 election was stolen… She didn’t say, ‘Uh well, I’d like not to get involved, of course it was a wonderful election’… She didn’t wilt under pressure like so many others that are weak people and stupid people, because once they wilt, they end up being a witness for a long time.”
‘Cheat like dogs’
Trump lashed out at Democrats, saying they can only win elections when they cheat.
“The way they win is to cheat in elections. They cheat like dogs,” he said.
At another point in his remarks, he said the greatest threat to the U.S. are the “sick, sinister, and evil people from within our country.”
He added: “You know the people I’m talking about, you see them all the time lie, disinformation, cheat, steal.”
Trump goes all in on his war against democracy by claiming that Democrats can only win elections when they cheat, “The way they win is to cheat in elections they cheat like dogs.” Trump then called for same day only voting with paper ballots and the elimination of early voting. pic.twitter.com/VfSBPDWIbL
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 2, 2022
‘Even after birth’
Trump suggested that “radical” Democrats support abortion “even after birth.”
“The radical Democrats believe in abortion and really right from the moment of birth, and even after birth. You can’t let this happen,” he said.
“There’s no country in the world that wants what these crazy people want. They are radical. They want to rip babies from the wombs.”
Trump slammed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was a critic of his during his presidency
“Michigan, you need to dump this wild-eyed extremist Gretchen Whitmer and put Tudor Dixon in the governor’s mansion,” Trump said.
“Gretchen Whitmer is one of the most radical, most sinister governors in America, you know that. She cruelly imposed the most brutal lockdowns in the entire country, causing Michigan to lose more jobs than any other state in the union.”
Trump continued to attack New York attorney general Letitia James, who recently filed a lawsuit accusing Trump and his company of fraud.
At Saturday’s rally, Trump called her “racist” and “one of the worst” attorneys general in the country.
At one point, he also played a video featuring clips of commentators criticizing James.
‘Heading for the exits’
Paul Egan, a reporter with the Detroit Free Press, reported that there appeared to be “ample” standing room in the venue minutes before Trump began speaking.
Egan added that there was a “steady stream of attendees heading for the exits since about the 15-minute mark of this now hour-long and ongoing speech.”