Former President Donald Trump offered a grim assessment of an America at its lowest point in history during a Sunday afternoon visit to Dallas.
“Our country is going to hell,” he told thousands of supporters at a full American Airlines hub. âWe have to get our country back. We must make America great again.
The stop in Dallas marked Trump’s final stop on âThe History Tour,â a four-day trip to cities in Florida and Texas with former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly. Earlier in the day, he attended a worship service at the First Baptist Dallas Church downtown.
The American Airlines Center show opened with a video montage of reporting on the current president – with âJoe Biden is a total failureâ displayed in big capital letters at its conclusion.
O’Reilly then engaged Trump in a conversation that gave him ample opportunity to compare his record with that of Biden on a range of challenges, including immigration, foreign policy and the coronavirus pandemic.
âWe had the safest border the country has ever had,â Trump said. âWe had the smallest amount of drugs entered our country in its history. “
Since leaving office, Trump has said the amount of narcotics, including fentanyl, crossing the US-Mexico border has skyrocketed. According to US Customs and Border Protection statistics, more than 200,000 pounds of drugs were seized at the southwestern border of the United States in 2020, compared to more than 158,000 pounds seized in 2021.
Trump called the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw the army from Afghanistan embarrassing because the Taliban “marched in our uniforms.”
His faults transcended party boundaries – and sparked gasps from some in the audience – when he blamed former President George W. Bush for invading Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. , which he called the worst mistake the United States has ever made.
As fears grow around the world of a new wave of coronavirus infections, Trump has doubled down on his claim that China should pay the rest of the world for damage from the pandemic, which he called the “virus Wuhan “and” China virus “.
He estimated that China owed “at least $ 60 trillion” for what he suggested was a pandemic caused by a lab leak. âThey’re going to have to do something to pay. There must be some form of reparation.
COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, a Chinese province, in late 2019. Many of the first people infected had visited or worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
He said the United States had saved tens of millions of lives through vaccines, saying that even though his supporters were not themselves vaccinated, they still deserved credit for speeding up the vaccination process.
Throughout his conversation with O’Reilly, Trump insisted that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him and that a full investigation must be carried out. Trump won Texas 5.6 percentage points over Biden in 2020, but is still pushing for a major vote audit.
Asked about the storming of Capitol Hill on January 6, Trump said it was not an insurgency but a protest against the “rigged” election.
He said he felt bad about the death of Ashli ââBabbitt, who he said was the only person killed during the capture of the Capitol.
Babbitt was shot and killed while trying to get through a window in a barricaded door during the riot on Capitol Hill. Four other people died during and after the attack.
Later in their conversation, O’Reilly read questions from attendees, one of whom asked Trump what his proudest achievement was.
âWe really did a lot of things,â he said, but âwinning the presidency so that we can do all of these thingsâ was his favorite.
Before the event, as people waited to enter, they similarly spoke of their pride in Trump’s presidency.
A huge flag reading “Trump won” was mounted near a tent towards the front of the arena, and the QAnon conspiracy theory was also represented in the crowd.
Eileen McDermott, wearing a QAnon hoodie, said she came from California for the event. She credited Trump with bringing down an array of powerful men who have been accused or convicted of sex crimes, including financier Jeffrey Epstein, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere.
A central tenet of QAnon is that Trump will destroy a cabal of celebrities and liberal politicians who QAnon supporters say are pedophiles.
Also in attendance were members of Negative48 – a subgroup of QAnon that focuses on the belief that John F. Kennedy Jr. did not really die in 1999 and that he will emerge to reestablish Trump as president.
But others in the crowd insisted the QAnon fringe was not representative of their beliefs, saying they were there just to support Trump and O’Reilly.
Grace Blair of Lubbock said she appreciated that O’Reilly “is trying to help save our country from the far left and the destruction of our culture.”