Former President Donald Trump spoke at a Republican fundraising event in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday as part of his campaign for re-election to the White House in 2024.
Trump touted his own election bid and gave some indication of what his intentions might be if he becomes president again – such as appointing more judges like Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas – and he also stopped for pizza.
The former president remains the presumptive frontrunner for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination as a slew of recent polls show him with a substantial lead over potential rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Here are some key takeaways from the Fort Myers event.
Trump ‘Saved the Republican Party’
Former President Trump told the Lee County GOP’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday evening that in 2016, his election victory saved the Republican Party.
“To put it simply, on election day in 2016, we didn’t just save America. We saved the Republican Party. We did,” Trump said and was met with a cheer.
He also reiterated the unfounded claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him – a position that he and many of his close allies have held since his defeat in the last election.
Investigating ‘Every Radical DA’ in the U.S.
Trump also took aim at what he described as “local Marxist prosecutors who release rapists and murderers while persecuting conservatives.”
“On day one of my new administration, I will direct the DOJ to investigate every radical DA and attorney general in the country for their illegal, racist-in-reverse enforcement of the law,” he said.
The former president has levied similar criticisms against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over the DA’s probe into an alleged hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 charges related to that investigation.
More Judges Like Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been at the center of controversy over his relationship with billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow but Trump was in no doubt about his support for Thomas, who is the longest-serving member of the current Court.
“I will appoint rock solid, constitutional conservative judges in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the great Justice Clarence Thomas, who is under siege right now – he’s under siege right now for doing nothing,” Trump said.
“They’re going after him right now,” he said, touting his record of appointing conservative judges.
Thomas has come under renewed scrutiny after it was revealed earlier this month that the justice and his wife took trips paid for by Crow for years without disclosing them.
Trump Stops for Pizza
In a lighter moment during his visit to Fort Myers, the former president reportedly stopped for pizza and was met by a crowd. A brief video of the visit was shared on Twitter by Jason Miller, senior adviser to Trump.
“After speaking at a GOP fundraiser in Fort Myers, former President Donald Trump stopped to grab some pizza at D-Hop in Fort Myers. It’s a popular spot downtown,” reported NBC2 anchor Kyla Galer, sharing Miller’s tweet.
“Workers say they only had about 45 min notice before he (and this big crowd) showed up!” Galer added.