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Trump Assaults Biden and Federal Regulation Enforcement at Fourth of July Occasion

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Former President Donald J. Trump drew a crowd of hundreds on Saturday to a quiet South Carolina city’s Independence Day occasion, the place he assailed the integrity of main American establishments and painted a darkish portrait of the nation forward of a vacation meant to have fun its underpinnings.

Talking for practically 90 minutes on Essential Avenue in Pickens, S.C., with at the least 20 American flags behind his again, Mr. Trump usually eschewed the rhetorical flag-waving and requires unity which have lengthy been as central to Independence Day as scorching canines, baseball and fireworks.

As an alternative, the twice-impeached and twice-indicted former president railed in opposition to Democrats and liberals, who he stated threatened to rewrite America’s previous and erase its future. He skewered federal legislation enforcement, which he accused with out proof of rampant corruption. And he attacked President Biden, enumerating what he noticed as his character flaws and accusing him of taking bribes from international nations.

“We need to have a respect for our nation and for the workplace” of the presidency, Mr. Trump stated. “However we actually have no real interest in people who find themselves sick.”

Mr. Trump’s feedback had been largely acquainted. However the occasion highlighted the maintain he has on his most fervent supporters — a problem for his Republican rivals as they search their occasion’s presidential nomination from far behind Mr. Trump within the polls.

Regardless of sweltering humidity and warmth, hundreds of individuals swarmed the streets of Pickens — a city of about 3,000 within the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains — starting at daybreak.

Pam Nichols, who described herself as an “insurrectionist,” stated that she flew from Mundelein, Sick., to proudly assist Mr. Trump in particular person. She had final executed so in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, she stated, when a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol constructing. She didn’t speak intimately about her actions that day.

“I used to be advised to put low after,” Ms. Nichols stated, including that she had watched various Mr. Trump’s speeches on-line since. “However I felt prefer it’s time to come back out now. I’m bored with laying low.”

The occasion in Pickens was solely Mr. Trump’s second full-scale rally since he kicked off his marketing campaign in November. Although such rallies had been an indicator of his previous two campaigns, he has to date largely taken the stage at occasions organized by different teams.

Bryan Owens, the director of selling for Pickens, stated {that a} consultant for the Trump marketing campaign reached out two weeks in the past to ask to come back to the city for its Independence Day celebration.

South Carolina, an early nominating state, was a key victory for Mr. Trump within the 2016 primaries as he sought to unite the Republican Celebration behind him. In 2020, he received the state handily, drawing overwhelming assist on this area, a conservative swath of 10 counties within the northwest nook often called the Upstate.

Mr. Owens stated that the city’s determination was straightforward. Although he personally wouldn’t assist Mr. Trump in 2024, he stated, the chance to convey a former president to Pickens was too good to go up.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for Pickens,” Mr. Owens continued, gesturing behind him to a crowd that packed the streets and stretched for a number of blocks. “And those who aren’t that accustomed to small cities — they’ll get that have.”

Pickens’s Independence Day festivities started with a 5K race to boost cash to restore water fountains on a neighborhood nature path. American flags lined the streets, and indicators inspired guests to buy native, at the same time as companies on Essential Avenue had been closed due to Secret Service measures.

With parking close to the positioning of the rally restricted, residents had been charging as much as $100 — money, many had been fast to make clear — to let guests depart automobiles of their driveways or on their lawns. For one more $20, a golf cart would possibly shuttle you out of your automobile towards the rally’s entrance, exterior a McDonald’s on the finish of Essential Avenue.

Crimson, white and blue had been the wardrobe colours of the day, from hat to boots. Tammy Milligan, of Myrtle Seaside, S.C., arrived wearing a Surprise Girl costume, which she stated she began sporting across the time of Mr. Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

At the same time as she stood behind Mr. Trump wholeheartedly and known as him a patriot, she acknowledged that a lot of the nation felt otherwise — which she framed as an American ideally suited.

“Properly, everybody’s entitled to suppose what they need to suppose,” Ms. Milligan stated. “That’s our nation.”

Mr. Trump was not so beneficiant. He dwelled on the federal indictment that charged him with illegally retaining nationwide safety paperwork and obstructing the federal government’s efforts to reclaim them. And at the same time as he denounced the prosecution as an egregious and politically motivated step, he vowed, as he has earlier than, that he would reciprocate in variety if elected.

Outlining a darkish imaginative and prescient of America, Mr. Trump known as his political opponents “sick individuals” and “degenerates” who had been “operating our nation to the bottom.”

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