In DC Speech, Trump Stops Short of Declaring 2024 Run

It was his first trip to capital since leaving office
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2022 6:25 PM CDT
Trump Returns to DC for First Time Since Leaving Office
Former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after speaking at an America First Policy Institute agenda summit at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, Tuesday, July 26, 2022.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Former President Donald Trump returned to Washington, DC Tuesday for the first time since he left office—and while he stopped short of announcing a 2024 run for president, he once again returned to his claim that his 2020 election loss to President Biden was tainted. The Guardian reports that Trump waited until about an hour into his largely "subdued and scripted" address to the America First Agenda summit before raising the subject. "I ran for president, I won, and I won a second time, but much better the second time, a lot better," said Trump, who described the 2020 election as a "catastrophe."

In the earlier part of Trump's speech, he set out proposals to combat crime and touched on issues including the economy and transgender people in sports, the Hill reports. But by the end of his 90-minute remarks, he had returned to a familiar series of grievances, including the Mueller report, the border wall, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. "I used to listen to Fauci and whatever he said, I did the opposite," Trump claimed. "I came out very good." The crowd at the Marriott Marquis included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers, as well as Kellyanne Conway and other former Trump administration figures.

Trump told the crowd that the Biden administration's policies have "brought our country to its knees." He slammed the House committee investigating the Capitol riot—which occurred after another Trump speech—and said he was being attacked "so I cannot go back to work for you." He said that if he doesn't run for office again, "our country is doomed to become another Venezuela or another Soviet Union," per the Guardian. (In a speech in DC earlier Tuesday, former Vice President Mike Pence struck a very different tone.)

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