by Damian Pachter , AP and ILH Staff
US President Joe Biden "actually criticized Israel while the Jewish homeland was under attack by thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles," Trump says in a speech at the North Carolina Republican Convention. "It was a betrayal when you look at what happened in Congress," he says in first speech in months.
|Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the North Carolina Republican Convention Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Greenville, NC | Photo: AP/Chris Seward|
Former US President Donald Trump returned to the spotlight Saturday for his first speech in months, hitting out at his successor Joe Biden over the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, accusing the current president of having "criticized" the Jewish state during the hostilities.
"He actually criticized Israel while the Jewish homeland was under attack by thousands and thousands of rockets and missiles launched," Trump said in a speech to the North Carolina Republican Convention.
"It was a betrayal when you look at what happened in Congress," he said. "It used to be… everybody was with Israel. Today, I guess it's just not in vogue. But you look at some of these radicals they have in the House of Representatives; you have to deal with them all the time."
"Israel is really almost out, it's almost out. It's a very, very terrible thing," the former president said.
In his remarks, Trump blamed Iran – which backs the Gaza-based Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups – of orchestrating the rocket attacks on Israel. "It was launched by Iran," he said.
Out of office for more than four months and banned from his preferred social media accounts, the former president hopes to use such events to elevate his diminished voice ahead of another potential presidential run.
Trump lapped up applause from Republican supporters as he focused his early remarks on Biden and his administration, which he called "the most radical left-wing administration in history."
"As we gather tonight our country is being destroyed before our very eyes," he said.
He framed next year's midterm elections as a battle for the "survival of America," but kept followers guessing on his own plans for 2024.
"The survival of America depends upon our ability to elect Republicans at every level, starting with the midterms next year," Trump said. "We have to get it done. We have no choice actually. We're going to defend our freedoms."
Trump described 2024, the year of the next presidential election, as "a year that I look very much forward to" – drawing loud cheers from the audience in Greenville.
Verbal attacks against his favorite targets, including Biden's border policy, China, "radical left Democrats," and "critical race theory" all triggered wild cheers.
In contrast, the crowd fell largely silent during his claims of successfully tackling Covid-19 and of developing the vaccines that have helped quell the pandemic.
Damian Pachter , AP and ILH Staff