Former US President Donald Trump has slammed the FBI’s raid on his Florida home as a “travesty of justice” as he made his first public appearance since the August 8 search.
Addressing supporters at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump said the raid was an “egregious abuse of the law” that was going to produce “a backlash the likes of which nobody has ever seen”.
He also hit back at his successor, Joe Biden, who in a speech this week described Trump and his Make America Great Again (MAGA) supporters as “extremists” who threaten “the very foundations of our republic”. Biden had also delivered his hard-hitting speech in Pennsylvania.
Trump slammed Biden’s address as the “most vicious, hateful and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president”.
“He’s an enemy of the state. You want to know the truth. The enemy of the state is him,” the former president said.
“Republicans in the MAGA movement are not the ones trying to undermine our democracy,” continued Trump, who has repeatedly claimed the 2020 presidential election, which he lost, was rigged and whose party has made unfounded claims of voter fraud a central plank of their platform.
“We are the ones trying to save our democracy, very simple. The danger to democracy comes from the radical left, not from the right,” he said.
Trump was appearing at the rally in Wilkes-Barre ahead of November’s midterm elections, which could see Biden’s Democrats lose control of both houses of Congress.
Even though Trump is not on the ballot, Biden, 79, is seeking to turn the vote into a referendum on his predecessor in a bid to hold on to the Senate and House of Representatives.
Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, said many Republicans were concerned that Trump’s participation in the campaign could hurt the party’s chances in the November election.
“Trump remains a very divisive figure,” said Hanna. — BBC