The Republican frontrunner also says the ?deep state? stepped up its attacks against him when he promised to end the conflict in Ukraine
Former President Donald Trump told his supporters on Saturday that President Joe Biden is turning the US into a "banana republic," and promised to throw the "repulsive political class the hell out of office" if re-elected next year.
Trump, who is reportedly facing arrest over campaign finance charges in New York, held his first campaign rally ahead of the 2024 election in Waco, Texas, on Saturday. Speaking to a crowd of several thousand people, Trump reiterated his long-held belief that the charges against him - as well as the prosecution of the January 6, 2021, rioters - are a Democrat-orchestrated plot to keep him out of office and criminalize his supporters.
"The Biden regime's weaponization of law enforcement against their political opponents is something straight out of the Stalinist Russia horror show," he declared, calling Biden's America "a third-world banana republic."
"From the beginning it's been one witch hunt and phony investigation after another," Trump asserted, adding "it's no coincidence that the deep state is coming after me even harder since I pledged to swiftly end the war in Ukraine."
Trump has claimed for months that if elected, he would be able to achieve a settlement to the conflict within 24 hours. He has not elaborated further on how he would achieve this, but has blamed the conflict on "all the warmongers and 'America Last' globalists" in the Pentagon, State Department, and other organs of the national security establishment and "deep state."
"Justice will only be done once we have thrown this repulsive political class the hell out of office," he told the crowd in Waco on Saturday.
Trump made a number of campaign promises at the rally, vowing to boost domestic energy production, phase out imports from China, end funding for "critical race theory and transgender insanity" in schools, and use state, federal, and military resources to "carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history."
"Eisenhower did it, so we don't have to feel so bad," Trump quipped, referring to the removal of more than a million illegal immigrants by Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration in the early 1950s under 'Operation Wetback.'
Trump is currently leading most polls to take the Republican nomination in 2024, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in second place by between two and 30 points. While DeSantis has not declared his candidacy, Trump devoted a portion of his speech at Waco to attacking his potential opponent. Referring to DeSantis as "DeSanctimonious," Trump took credit for the governor's political career, and condemned him for shutting down his state at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.