Former US President Donald Trump upped the attack on his successor and Democrat rival Joe Biden ahead of the 2024 presidential elections, by accusing him of misusing the federal justice system through the four indictments against him and calling him the "destroyer of American democracy'.
Speaking to a crowd in Iowa, Trump made his most explicit argument till date against Biden on why voters should instead see his rival as the bigger democratic threat. "He's been weaponising government against his political opponents like a Third World political tyrant... Biden and his radical left allies like to pose as standing up as allies of democracy. Joe Biden is not the defender of American democracy, Joe Biden is the destroyer of American democracy." he said.
Trump also reiterated his allegations that the presidential elections in 2020, in which he lost to Biden, were "stolen" and that US elections, in general, are "rigged". There is no evidence to back his claims of electoral fraud, despite government and independent reviews, and dozens of lawsuits were dismissed by courts. Trump also continued his practice of referring to some of those arrested in connection with January 6, 2021, riot as “political prisoners".
Trump's remarks against his rival's threat to democracy also point toward the lawsuits filed by two liberal organizations seeking to rule him ineligible for office under a rarely used Civil War-era constitutional provision. The provision prohibits those "engaged in insurrection" from returning to office.
All of the suits to date have failed. Although Biden is not involved in them, but Democratic donors who back him also help fund the liberal groups filing the claims, leading Trump to accuse Biden of "defacing the Constitution" in attempts to block him. Trump has long promised to prosecute Biden if he returns to the White House
Trump praises China, says Kim Jong Un likes him
The former US President has a history of speaking warmly about authoritarian leaders and sometimes echoing their rhetoric. On Saturday, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping and China's criminal justice system for swiftly executing drug dealers and also claimed that North Korean President Kim Jong Un likes him.
However, he also noted that he was often attacked for these relationships. "Americans don't like fascists," he said. However, he also tried to defend them by arguing that it was beneficial to have good relations with people having nuclear weapons.
Trump in upcoming elections
As per the polls ahead of the November elections, Trump remains dominant in the Republican camp both national and early-state polls and has held large rallies and events to organise caucusgoers throughout the fall.
His key rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is facing new internal problems within his political operation with two key officials leaving the major super PAC supporting him and a stronger challenge from former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has been rising in early-state polls and picked up the support of Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the powerful Koch network.
As Trump has dominated the Republican presidential primary and talked about targeting his rivals and the news media if he wins the White House again, Biden has stepped up his own warnings, contending Trump is “determined to destroy American democracy".
(with inputs from AP)