He also said his former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is in the hospital with “heart problems” days after he was subpoenaed as part of the Georgia Attorney General’s investigation into election fraud in Fulton County.
The former New York mayor is “on the mend,” Trump said, adding, “Can you believe it? What they put Rudy through.”
However, Giuliani’s attorney later told NBC that he had already been discharged from the hospital after receiving heart stents this week.
Speaking with clenched hands at the podium, the former president called the United States a “failing country,” citing growth crime rates in major cities and a surge in migrants at the southern border.
He also painted a bleak picture of violence in US cities, saying that “elderly women are being raped” and children are being killed needlessly in an unusually grim tone.
“Simply put, we are a nation in decline. We are collapsing,” Trump said.
He declared that the country was engulfed in a “deadly wave of lawlessness and chaos.”
“Our country has been brought to its knees, humiliated in front of the world, but we dare to lecture other people in other countries about their democracies,” Trump said.
He followed up with a statement that initially appeared to tease a 2024 bid.
“So it’s a bit controversial. And I’m either going to get a standing ovation – and I don’t care about standing ovations, I care about the country – or people are going to walk out of the room for what I’m going to say. But it’s time to finally say it,” said the former president.
“If you look at countries around the world … The only ones that don’t have a drug problem are the ones that have the death penalty for drug dealers.”
The former president delivered an unusually somber speech in which he described the “blood” flowing in the streets of Democratic-run cities.
Former President Trump speaks at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
He added: “They’re the only ones who don’t have a problem.”
“We just want to have a great country again, it’s that simple. And we should have a safe country.”
Describing what he believes is the cause of the crime spike in unusually grim detail, Trump claimed that Democratic-run cities are rife with rapes and murders. He was also quick to blame President Joe Biden’s policies for fueling the wave of violence.
“The blood of these victims is almost exclusively in these strongholds of the Democrats. Babies are killed, elderly women are shot in the face and raped,” Trump said.
“Elderly women are raped. Children are stabbed and mutilated. As a candidate, Joe Biden helped lead his party’s vile campaign against our police officers, and then brought the rioters’ agenda straight to the White House.”
He said Biden’s recent executive order to strengthen police accountability — including banning chokeholds, limiting restraining orders, among other measures — is “depriving police departments of money.”
Trump accused Biden of “staffing his administration with an army of anti-police radicals,” despite voices to the president’s left who insisted his closest advisers may be too moderate on the issue.
He also used concerns about the crime wave to launch another presidential tease.
Trump said his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani is in the hospital with “heart problems,” days after Georgia prosecutors subpoenaed him as part of an election fraud investigation.
“The number one task for the new Republican Congress will be to stop this extreme agenda immediately. We want law and order,” Trump said.
“And then we need to elect a Republican president in 2024 to end Joe Biden’s lawlessness.”
A recent report suggests that violent crime is increasing at an alarming rate compared to last year.
Six major cities — Los Angeles, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C. — are all poised to beat their violent crime rate in 2021, despite being slightly more than halfway through the year, according to Fox News.
During the speech, Trump again took aim at New York Attorney General Letitia James, his frequent political foe since the Democratic official launched an investigation into his family’s real estate empire in 2019.
He and his two older children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., have agreed to testify in James’ civil investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed financial fraud by misrepresenting the value of its assets. Their deposition date is set for next Friday, July 15.
In a speech Friday night, Trump suggested that the investigation into James was a violation of his civil rights.
“We must eliminate all the street gangs, cartels and violent criminal organizations that operate in America,” Trump told his supporters. Prosecutors, a tough job, have to go after these brutal criminals and really mean it.”
“However, in many cases, racist prosecutors should also be vigorously investigated for their brazen violation of federal civil rights laws.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating the Trump Organization since 2019. Late last year, she sued Donald Trump and his two eldest children
Hitting James directly, he said: “This is happening to me, to a racist attorney general in New York who campaigned solely on getting Donald Trump.”
“I said, who is this woman? Is she crazy? A little. No, a lot,” he added as the crowd laughed.
Trump began his rally with a video montage that began with clips falsely claiming that policing was a goal of mainstream Democrats.
It ends with robust, cinematic music and Trump’s promise: “We’re going to make it.”
But his speech at the rally got off to an awkward start as the former president opened with a tribute to the recently assassinated former Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, only to be drowned out by Lee Greenwood’s opening song, “God Bless the USA.”
Republicans see Nevada as rich in vulnerable blue seats that they can flip in the upcoming midterm elections.
Trump is in Las Vegas to campaign for Adam Laxalt, the former Nevada attorney general who is now running to unseat Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in November.
He also supports Nevada gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo. Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff, won the GOP nomination with Trump’s endorsement and now faces incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Both races are considered draws. Lombardo trails Sisolak by just over two points in the FiveThirtyEight polling average.
A Change Research poll conducted at the end of June shows Cortez Masto holding a slight lead of three percent.
Right after his speech in Las Vegas, Trump will hold a “Save America” rally in Alaska on Saturday.
This is the first of two rallies by the former president this weekend. He performs in Alaska on Saturday
Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt (3L) speaks during a panel discussion at the America First rally where former US President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 8
Trump earlier made the remarks at a televised event honoring Laxalt, the former Nevada attorney general (pictured shaking hands with Trump)
There, the ex-president is drumming up support for Republican Senate candidate Kelly Tibak and House candidate Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and one-time vice presidential candidate.
While Palin is running to replace the late Don Young, who died this year, Chibaka is looking to unseat incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski is a Republican who angered Trump by voting to convict him in his second impeachment trial.
The high-profile primary race will be held on August 16.
Trump’s respective campaign appearances follow multiple reports that he will soon announce another presidential bid as a House committee investigation into his current and former allies wraps up on Jan. 6.
And in a further hint that the former president wants to run for the White House in 2024, he announced Wednesday night that his iconic Trump Force One plane is back in service after being largely unused since he took office in 2017.
The Boeing 757 was Trump’s preferred mode of transportation during his 2016 presidential campaign.