Trump proposed the United States “bomb the shit out of Russia” with disguised planes, as if that would somehow fool Russian President Vladimir Putin into thinking that the CPP had attacked his country. “And then we say, China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it, and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a recording of the speech. (To be clear, when Trump says “we sit back and watch,” he’s talking about a war that would kill thousands or millions of people)
In addition to proposing a plan so stupid it belongs in an episode of Looney Toons, Trump claimed that Putin would have never attacked Ukraine while he was in the White House. “I knew Putin very well. He would not have done it. He would have never done it,” Trump said. Earlier on in the Ukraine conflict, Trump praised Putin, hailing him as “savvy” and “genius” when he sent Russian troops into portions of Ukraine. And while president, he delayed sending congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine, trying to use it as leverage to strong-arm President Volodymyr Zelensky into manufacturing dirt on the Biden family.
Trump’s wide-ranging speech to donors often elicited laughter from around 250 Republicans in the room at the New Orleans Four Seasons, according to the Post. At one point, the former president expressed envy of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, describing Kim’s hold over North Korea as “total control” and saying he was impressed with how Kim’s generals and staff “cowered” in his presence. “His people were sitting at attention,” Trump said. “I looked at my people and said, ‘I want my people to act like that.'”
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a Trump speech if he didn’t spend a significant chunk of time spewing election lies. The former president falsely claimed he had won the states of Wisconsin and Georgia and said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg influenced the election against him. He also advocated for the Republican strategy of replacing election officials across the country with Trump loyalists.
“The vote counter is often more important than the candidate,” Trump said, adding that right-wing radio host Mark Levin told him “… We have to get a lot tougher and smarter at the polls.”
“At a certain point, they won’t show up if we allow this to happen again,” he said of Republican voters.
Trump also strongly hinted that he intends to run for president again in 2024, pushing the lie that it would be his third electoral win. “We’ve already won two presidential elections,” Trump falsely claimed. “And now I feel obligated that we have to really look strongly at doing it again. … We are looking at it very, very strongly. We have to do it. We have to do it.”
He continued, “We’re doing great as a party. The Republican Party is now a fighting party. We are now a winning party. We are never going back to what it was before. It was heading in the wrong direction.”
Other topics in Trump’s speech included mocking Mitch McConnell as “stupid and corrupt,” calling NATO a “paper tiger,” and labeling George Conway — husband to his former advisor and “alternative facts” enthusiast Kellyanne Conway — a “stupid son of a bitch.”