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Trump endorses Ted Budd for North Carolina Senate as daughter-in-law Lara confirms she will not run

Donald Trump and his daughter-in-law Lara confirmed Saturday at the GOP convention in North Carolina that she will not be running for the Senate seat opening in the state in 2022.

Instead, Trump endorsed North Carolina Representative Ted Budd to replace retiring Senator Richard Burr. Budd has represented the state’s 11th district since 2017.

During the former president’s speech Saturday night, he introduced Lara Trump, who is married to his middle son Eric. She confirmed she doesn’t plan to run for a Senate seat in North Carolina in 2022 because of her two toddlers – one-year-old Carolina Trump and three-year-old Eric L. Trump, who goes by his middle name Luke.

‘So I have been considering it and it’s a big decision, in case nobody knew,’ Lara said from the stage in her home state.

‘And it’s something I did a lot of soul-searching and thinking, talking with my father-in-law, my parents, my husband Eric,’ she added.

‘And because of the values my parents instilled in me they taught me that when you do something you give 100 per cent. Because of my two kids who are very young – one and three – Carolina and Luke, it’s going to be very hard for me to enter this Senate race right now.’

Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara appeared on stage at the GOP convention in North Carolina on Saturday night to confirm she would not be running for a Senate seat in her home state in the 2022 mid-term elections 

Lara said her parental values are preventing her from running just yet. Here she is pictured on Mother's Day on May 9, 2021 with husband Eric Trump, one-year-old Carolina (right) and three-year-old Eric Jr (left)., who goes by middle name Luke

Lara said her parental values are preventing her from running just yet. Here she is pictured on Mother’s Day on May 9, 2021 with husband Eric Trump, one-year-old Carolina (right) and three-year-old Eric Jr (left)., who goes by middle name Luke

During Trump's speech ¿ only the second since leaving office ¿ he introduced his daughter-in-law

During Trump’s speech – only the second since leaving office – he introduced his daughter-in-law

The Trump's instead endorsed North Carolina Representative Ted Budd for the seat that will be left vacant by retiring GOP Senator Richard Burr in 2022

The Trump’s instead endorsed North Carolina Representative Ted Budd for the seat that will be left vacant by retiring GOP Senator Richard Burr in 2022

She previewed: ‘But I am saying no for now, not no for ever, just so you know.’

‘At the right time, I would absolutely love to come back and run for something here in my home state.’

There have been reports and rumors swirling for months that Lara could return to her home state to run for public office – as she has not ruled out the possibility in the future when asked.

The Trumps announced they were instead backing North Carolina Representative Ted Budd for a Senate run.

Budd, who was in the audience, then received a warm round of applause.

Interestingly enough, Budd did not win the straw vote among those at the convention. Instead, it was former North Carolina Representative Mark Walker who emerged as the favorite to take Burr’s seat. 

The former president made a barnstorming 90-minute comeback speech Saturday, which saw him attack Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, big tech, cancel culture and those who doubted his COVID lab leak claim.

Trump’s address at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville on Saturday night was only his second since leaving the White House in January.

Budd made quick remarks where he announced his bid alongside Trump at the convention in Greenville on Saturday, June 5, 2021

Budd made quick remarks where he announced his bid alongside Trump at the convention in Greenville on Saturday, June 5, 2021

And Trump wasted no time getting stuck into Biden, launching an attack on his successor’s policies within moments of taking the podium.

He said: ‘As we gather tonight our country is being destroyed before our very own eyes. Crime is exploding, police departments are being ripped apart and defunded, can you believe that? Is that good politics, defund our police? 

‘You look at our border, it’s wide open. Illegal immigration is skyrocketing at a level we’ve never seen before, and this is over a period of a few months. 

‘Drugs are pouring in, gas prices are soaring, our industries are being pillaged by foreign cyber attacks.

‘That’s a lack of respect for our country and for our leaders.

‘And speaking of our leaders, they’re bowing down to China, America’s being demeaned and humiliated on the world stage.

‘Our freedom is being overtaken by left-wing cancel culture and the Biden administration is pushing toxic critical race theory and illegal discrimination into our children’s schools.’ 

‘Now you tell me. We take this? Joe Biden and the socialist democrats are the most radical left-wing administration in history. Even Bernie Sanders can’t believe it.’

‘The survival of America depends on our ability to elect Republicans at every level, starting with the midterms next year. We have to get it done. We have to defend our borders, we have to do all of these things. 

Donald Trump made his second speech since leaving the White House in Greenville, North Carolina, on Saturday night

Donald Trump made his second speech since leaving the White House in Greenville, North Carolina, on Saturday night

Moments after taking the stage, the former president ripped into Joe Biden over illegal immigration, calls to defund the police, and cancel culture

Moments after taking the stage, the former president ripped into Joe Biden over illegal immigration, calls to defund the police, and cancel culture

Trump's speech saw repeated digs at Joe Biden and Dr Anthony Fauci over their handling of COVID-19

Trump’s speech saw repeated digs at Joe Biden and Dr Anthony Fauci over their handling of COVID-19

‘The cancel culture, the defunding culture, the defending culture – and they defend the wrong things – we’re not going to let it go on any longer. We’re going to stand up for our values, and take back our country at a level that is very, very good.’ 

Trump was greeted with rapturous applause throughout his speech, and drew the most laughter when he cracked jokes at the expense of White House COVID czar Dr Anthony Fauci, who he claimed was a ‘great promoter, not a great doctor.’ 

He also claimed the Republicans would gain at least two or three House of Representatives seats in the 2022 midterms, having earlier vowed to take back the House, Senate and White House ‘sooner than you think.’ 

Trump also ranted about last year’s election loss, branding the 2020 election ‘by far the most corrupt election in the history of our country.’ 

He claimed mail-in ballots had been used to steal his victory, despite multiple lawyers hired by Team Trump being unable to offer any proof of the former president’s claims.

Earlier this week, Trump claimed he could be reinstated to the White House as early as August, although he did not repeat that outlandish ‘reinstatement’ claim on Saturday night, amid claims some of his key allies had begged him not to for fear he’d be ridiculed. 

Notably absent was any firm word on whether Trump will run for president in 2024.

He ranted that ongoing ‘witch hunt’ probes into his alleged wrongdoing – so far numbering two unsuccessful impeachments, as well as an ongoing Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal probe – would finally come to a halt in November 2024.

That is when the next presidential election will be held, although Trump did not comment further. His daughter-in law Lara Trump took to the stage to say she was too busy raising her two toddlers to consider a North Carolina U.S. Senate run in 2022. 

He touched on topics that many of his supporters – and critics – will recognize as Trump ‘greatest hits’, including… 

China’s involvement in unleashing COVID, the lab leak claim, and Dr Anthony Fauci’s initial dismissal of that theory.

Trump was evidently delighted his spring 2020 claims that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology are now finally being taken seriously by government officials – and Joe Biden.

He said: ‘The media, the Democrats and the so-called experts are now finally admitting what I first said 13 months ago, the evidence demonstrates that the virus originated in a Chinese government lab.

‘And Dr Fauci, who I actually got along with, he’s a nice guy, a great promoter, not a great doctor, but he’s a hell of a promoter, he likes television more than any politician in this room, and they like television.

‘But he’s been wrong on almost every issue, and he was wrong on Wuhan and the lab also, very wrong. We ended the payments (made by the US to the lab for research), they were started in 2014. Mark Meadows came in, and he saw what I saw, and that started in 2014 and we ended it.

‘But generally speaking I went the opposite way of Dr Fauci, what he was saying, for instance Dr Fauci said do not close our borders to China, to Europe but I did it anyway, and months late he said I made the right decision and saved thousands and thousands of lives,’ Trump continued. 

‘Fauci said powerfully at the beginning now mask, then he went into masks and became a radical masker.

‘But Fauci has perhaps never been more wrong than when he denied the virus and where it came from. The time has come for America and the world to demand reparations and accountability from the communist party of China.

‘We should all declare within one unified voice that China must pay.’  

President Biden last week called for the lab leak theory to be investigated, as scientists admit the initial claim that the virus came from a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan may not have been correct.

His success at building ‘the greatest economy in the history of the world’ – and Joe Biden’s alleged desire to destroy it 

Trump highlighted how two key inflation indicators had risen to their highest level in 13 years, sparking fears that inflation – the cost of living – could soon rise in America.

The former president himself ordered the printing of trillions of dollars of COVID-stimulus relief – with that increase in the money supply a likely factor in rising inflation – but claimed Joe Biden was to blame for what he predicted would be impending economic woes.  

He said: ‘All Joe Biden had to do was sit back and do nothing and it was taking off like a rocket ship…

‘Instead the economy is going to hell and inflation is going to cause a catastrophe in the near future

‘The New York Times, who I don’t often quote, just stated ‘a million jobs a month seemed within grasp not long ago, but now it looks like wishful thinking.’ Isn’t that sad? We would have done much better than that. Monthly jobs expectations have missed expectations the last two months in a row

‘Inflation is now at the highest level in 13 years, and its going to go up substantially. its going to cost you a lot more.’  

Trump also slammed Biden for halting construction plans for the 1,700 mile Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta in Canada to the Texas coast. Biden claims he did so in a bid to tackle climate change. 

Trump said of the decision: ‘The Biden administration seems to be putting America last. You look at these negotiations where so many bad things have happened.

‘48,000 jobs were lost by President Biden’s day one rejection of the keystone pipeline. For what reason – why did they do that?

‘And if you like the environment, the pipeline is much better than railroad tracks and trucking. It’s great and they ended it on day one.’ 

Trump stopped short of declaring a run for president in 2024 - although he did claim 'witch hunt' investigations against him, including an ongoing New York Prosecutor's probe, would finally come to a conclusion in November 2024

Trump stopped short of declaring a run for president in 2024 – although he did claim ‘witch hunt’ investigations against him, including an ongoing New York Prosecutor’s probe, would finally come to a conclusion in November 2024 

Big tech censorship 

Trump was permanently removed from Twitter in the wake of the January 6 US Capitol riots, and also booted from Facebook as well as its sister social media site Instagram. He found out earlier this week that Facebook had banned him from both its platforms for two years.

Trump has long railed against social media companies for censoring conservative voices, and wanted to axe section 230 of the Defense Bill, which would have opened social media firms up to lawsuits over content published by users of their sites.

Speaking on Saturday, Trump said: ‘That election will go down  as the crime of the century and our country is being destroyed by people who perhaps have no right to destroy it. (Facebook owner Mark) Zuckerberg broke the law spending millions of dollars – don’t you think he broke the law – in get out the vote efforts in highly Democrat areas. 

‘You know he used to come to the white house, he’d call ‘Can I have dinner with you?’ sure,  ‘Can I bring my wife?’ absolutely. He actually walked into the office one day in front of numerous people

”Congratulations sir’, why?, he said, ‘You’re number one on Facebook.’ I said thank you very much I appreciate it. We had a nice dinner, but after that he became rather, well, I guess, it’s human nature. 

‘But we can’t let our country be run by that kind of human nature, can we? Zuckerberg, that’s another beauty. But they say they may allow me back in two years,  I’m not too interested in that. We’ve got to stop that, we can’t let it happen, they’re shutting down an entire group of people, in my opinion, a much more powerful and much larger group.’ 

Defund the police  

Trump touched on calls to defund police departments in the wake of George Floyd’s 2020 murder. President Joe Biden has repeatedly said he does not back defunding, but many members of the Democrat party do. The unpopularity of that movement among voters was seen as a major reason for Biden’s narrower than expected election win last year.

Trump said of the issue: ‘As we gather tonight, our country is being destroyed before our very own eyes. Crime is exploding. Police departments are being ripped apart and defunded. Can you believe that? Defund our police. is that good politics, number one, it’s bad for our country, but think about it, defund our police. You know I’ve long said, they’re (the Democrats) vicious, they’re violent, they in many cases hate our country and in many cases they hate our country.

‘But the bad news from our standpoint – they stick together.  They don’t have some of the people like we have where they go on their own. They stick together, that’s the one thing they have. But their policy is so bad, but we’re going to have a tremendous 2022…who the hell wants to defund the police?’

His impeachment ‘witch hunt’ – and New York prosecutors’ ongoing attempts to bring criminal charges against him  

Attacking the unsuccessful first and second impeachment attempts against him, as well as an ongoing criminal probe in New York, Trump said: ‘They failed in Washington, they failed all over the place. Between impeachment hoax number one, impeachment hoax number two, all of these investigations. Ah sh*t, we failed, lets send it to the radical left prosecutors in New York. They’ll never stop until November of 2024.’

Trump also branded the ongoing probe into his finances by New York Attorney General Cyrus Vance ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and claimed the investigation was unfairly targeting ‘a lot of good people.’

Vance is focusing on the Trump organization’s finances, and whether the former president may have broken the law by lying about his wealth to obtain more favorable terms on loans. 

He has convened a grand jury to hear his case against Trump. The former president denies all claims of wrongdoing.

TV networks covering Joe Biden’s blunders and fall up the stairs of Air Force One less harshly than Trump gaffes 

Trump took aim at TV networks for failing to cover Joe Biden tripping and falling up the stairs of Air Force One three times in a row in March this year. He highlighted speculation over his own trepidation about walking down a ramp at a graduation at West Point Military Academy in upstate New York last summer as evidence of this unfairness.

Trump said: ‘Do you ever notice when he had a hard time going up the stairs in the plane? The news didn’t talk about that. Not one network covered it. 

‘Now when I’ve made the best speech I’ve ever made – they said it was at West Point, it was pouring, and they had a ramp that was an ice skating rink, and I called and said ‘General, I may have to grab you, because the last thing I’m doing is going down.’ 

‘And so I walked gingerly down, that was on every newscast on the world, and I never went down, I never went on my ass. I wasn’t going to fall. 

‘I think that was a booby trap. I’ll never forget that ramp, it was like a sheet of ice. It was cold, rainy and that ramp was long and steep, and unfortunately I wasn’t wearing American shoes. They made that a big story, but they didn’t make the Biden triple fall.’ 

Immigration 

Trump blasted Joe Biden over spiraling immigration at the US southern border, which has seen record number of illegal migrants – and unaccompanied children – make the crossing from Mexico into the US.

He said: ‘We negotiated historic agreements with Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to stop illegal immigration. We ended asylum fraud. What was going on at our border was unbelievable. We instituted rapid removal at our border, sending people home in record times.

‘We ended catch and release, where you catch somebody, could be a horrible criminal, and we release them into our country. We empowered ice to do their jobs. 

‘We cracked down on sanctuary cities, deported gang members by the thousands, and  dealt a crippling blow to MS-13, that’s the most vicious gang of all. 

‘We never had a problem, and now they blew that one too. After we instituted these policies the number of illegal aliens declined by 91 per cent, but under Joe Biden illegal crossings are up by 1000 per cent compared to the same period last year. They’re emptying their prisons, they’re sending murderers, drug dealers, human traffickers and others just as bad to the United States Remember, it’s called America Last.

‘In April alone, more than 165,000 illegal aliens were apprehended and mostly released – into our country. We saw the largest number of unaccompanied minors. they’re destroying our country. It is much worse than us. There are at least 1,000 aliens getting away every single day as the radical Democrats have intentionally and systematically destroyed the sovereign borders of the United States of American.’ 

‘Biden has halted wall construction, suspended removals of horrible, horrible people, stopped enforcement and our groundbreaking ‘Remain in Mexico’ 

‘Despite the worst border crisis in history, we’ve had the smallest number of illegal aliens ever removed. 92 per cent had criminal records, and now they’re all being released back into your communities. the border is just the beginning of the Biden disasters.  

The former president claimed that China should be ordered to pay billions in reparations over COVID

The former president claimed that China should be ordered to pay billions in reparations over COVID 

In a video shared shortly before the former president’s appearance at the North Carolina Republican Convention in Greenville Saturday night, Trump said: ‘I wanna thank everybody for the tremendous support you’ve shown.  We’re going to take back the Senate, take back the House, we’re gonna take back the White House and sooner than you think its going to be really something special.

‘But the love and the affection and the  respect that you’ve given all of us. It’s really important. The Republican Party is stronger than it’s ever been and it’s going to be a lot stronger than it is right now. We’re going to turn it around, we’re going to turn it around so much.’  

The ex-president’s speech was his first since February – when he addressed CPAC in Orlando – and only the second since he left the White House on January 20.    

Two outdoor rallies are planned for later this month as Trump continues to mull a run for the White House in 2024.   

Trump appeared in a short video vowing to retake the Senate, House and White House 'sooner than you think' ahead of a Saturday speech in Greenville, North Carolina

Trump appeared in a short video vowing to retake the Senate, House and White House ‘sooner than you think’ ahead of a Saturday speech in Greenville, North Carolina 

Trump is seen here leaving Trump Tower, where he has been spotted about once a week as he embarks on the next phase of his political career. Last month he moved his base of operations from his winter home at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, to his golf club at Bedminster, New Jersey

Trump is seen here leaving Trump Tower, where he has been spotted about once a week as he embarks on the next phase of his political career. Last month he moved his base of operations from his winter home at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, to his golf club at Bedminster, New Jersey

Pro Trump supporters outside convention

A female fan of president Trump outside Saturday's conference

Fans of the former president held up billboards to show their support outside the Greenville Convention Center ahead of Trump’s speech there on Saturday evening 

Trump's speech took aim at President Joe Biden and tell supporters: 'The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republicans at every level - starting with the midterms next year'

Trump’s speech took aim at President Joe Biden and tell supporters: ‘The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republicans at every level – starting with the midterms next year’

Meanwhile, Trump has been rebuilding his political life, first from his base in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, and for the past month from his golf club in New Jersey.

He has been spotted slipping in and out of Trump Tower in New York, while popping up on his favorite conservative television news shows.

He has repeatedly floated the idea of running for president in 2024 although aides say no decision is likely until after the midterms next year, when he can assess the political currents.

The appearance is the first of several planned.

Next weekend he will appear via jumbotron at an event organized by MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, who has emerged as one of the most vociferous advocates for overturning last years election.

Trump has also announced plans for outdoor rallies in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

And aides say they are planning an event around the July 4 holiday weekend – when they have also teased more information on the former president’s plans to return to social media.

Some of Trump’s closest allies have also urged the president not to bring up a bizarre ‘reinstatement’ theory that emerged earlier this week.

The ex-president is said to have claimed he will be ‘reinstated’ in the White House by August this year earlier this week, despite his humiliating election loss last November.

Trump’s theory was first revealed by New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

But several of his most powerful supporters have since urged him not to bring it up on Saturday, or risk exposing himself to ridicule.

They told the Daily Beast that while they are keen to see Trump return to power, Joe Biden’s election win was a fair one, and that the ex-president should return to Washington DC via the ballot box.  


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