Trump criticizes Pence during Nashville speech; January 6 hearings continue

  • As the House Jan. 6 committee continues its work, former President Donald Trump has come to Nashville.
  • Trump was a keynote speaker at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference.
  • The senses. Americans Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee also spoke.

Former President Donald Trump on Friday slammed former Vice President Mike Pence as lacking “courage” for refusing to implement a plan to overturn the 2020 election results, echoing a tweet sent by Trump on January 6, 2021 as the country’s second-in-command. safe from a violent mob attacking the United States Capitol.

In a keynote address at a conservative Christian policy conference in Nashville, Trump gave a lengthy speech against what he calls a ‘ridiculous narrative’ and ‘witch hunt’ as a House committee continues its investigation. on Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack.

Former Trump aides and employees testified on Thursday about Trump’s efforts to pressure Pence into illegally rejecting the 2020 election results. A former Trump aide testified that Trump called Pence a “wimp” during of a heated phone call on January 6.

“I never called Mike Pence a wimp,” Trump said. “Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be, frankly, historic, but just like Bill Barr and the rest of those weak people, Mike didn’t have the courage to act.

Former President Donald Trump addresses attendees at the Road to Majority Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Friday, June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The bipartisan committee alleged on Thursday that Trump’s actions endangered the vice president’s life in his pursuit of a legal theory that Pence could void the election. Pence refused to do so. Republican U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, called the strategy “illegal and unconstitutional.”

Related:January 6 hearing for revelations: Trump called Pence a ‘wimp’ as VP resists ‘pressure campaign’ to void election

Enthusiastic crowd for speakers

Trump addressed a cheering crowd at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, where hundreds gathered this week to hear prominent conservative and evangelical speakers at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” .

Despite the friendly reception, Trump’s speech set a jarring tone for other conference speakers that at times sounded like a well-produced church service.

Following a speech by Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw encouraging Republicans not to match the “pure anger of the left” in actions and rhetoric, Trump mocked appearances by political opponents and said he believed a Republican on the select committee had a “mental disorder”. “

Trump supporters wait for former President Donald Trump to address the Road to Majority Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on Friday, June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The conference featured a list of Republican heavyweights and the Tennessee Senate delegation, including U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty and former UN ambassador Nikki Haleyall of whom avoided any mention of the January 6 committee underway Thursday and early Friday.

Related:Nikki Haley attends launch of Faith and Freedom event as January 6 hearings continue

Ahead of his own speech at the Faith & Freedom conference, U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted Thursday that “Real America” ​​doesn’t care about the Jan. 6 investigations.

But Trump appeared to pay attention, spending more than half an hour of his speech disparaging the committee and current Republican leaders.

“We have to fight very sick, very bad people,” Trump said, describing the House bipartisan committee as having a “menacing spirit” and being “crooks” putting on a “theatrical production.”

Trump has said that if he seeks a second term in 2024, he would “very seriously” consider pardoning the hundreds of people arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The rioters face charges ranging from seditious conspiracy to assaulting law enforcement.

Related:Arrests in the Capitol Riots: Find out who has been charged in the United States

Fight for mid-game control

This week, conference speakers repeatedly called the upcoming midterm elections a “battle,” invoking biblical and military language to rally supporters in an aggressive push to retake the upper house and effectively hobble the Democratic president. Joe Biden for the remainder of his term.

“It’s time to save America,” said U.S. Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla. “God favors those who are bold.”

Several speakers denounced public schools and education trends, a hot topic that has been raging in school board meetings and state legislatures for the past year.

Related:‘Age-appropriate’ school library bill heads to Tennessee governor’s office

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos praised the school’s choice, calling students “hostages” to the public education system.

“Children today have been held hostage by dreams of radical left fever,” DeVos said. “Education should not be the domain of the government, it should be the domain of the family.”

Even with the focus on the 2022 midterms, Trump’s appearance has sparked lingering questions about his potential bid for another term in 2024. Haley, a former Trump critic and who was rumored to be considering her -even a presidential race, told a conference attendee on Thursday she would support Trump if he ran.

“Would anyone like me to run for president?” Trump asked Friday, to thunderous applause.

Contact Melissa Brown at [email protected]

Want to read more stories like this? A subscription to one of our Tennessee Publications gives you unlimited access to all the latest political news, podcasts like Grand Divisions, as well as newsletters, a personalized mobile experience, and the ability to tap into stories, photos, and videos from all daily sites in the USA TODAY Network .

Comments are closed.