- Former President Donald Trump visited Nashville as the House Jan. 6 committee continued its work.
- The “Road to Majority” meeting of the Faith and Freedom Coalition included Donald Trump as its keynote speaker.
- Tennessee’s Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn, both senators, also spoke.
Reiterating a tweet he made on January 6, 2021, when the nation’s second-in-command sought refuge from a violent mob attacking the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump on Friday criticized former Vice President Mike Pence as lacking “courage” for rejecting a plan to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In his keynote address to a conservative Christian political convention in Nashville, President Trump railed against a “ludicrous narrative” and “witch hunt” as a House committee’s inquiry into his involvement in the assault on January 6 continues.
On Thursday, former Trump staff members and advisers discussed Trump’s attempts to get Pence to illegally reject the results of the 2020 election. In a heated phone discussion on January 6, according to testimony from a former Trump employee, Trump called Pence a “wimp”.
Trump claimed, “I never called Mike Pence a wimp. “Mike Pence had the potential to excel. Frankly, he had an opportunity to make history, but like Bill Barr and the rest of these cowards, Mike had the guts to take action.
The bipartisan committee claimed that, in an effort to prove his legal theory that Pence could overturn the election, Trump had put the vice president’s life in peril. Pence rebuffed the request. Liz Cheney, a Republican who serves as the committee’s vice chair, referred to the tactic as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
Related: Jan. 6 hearing revelations: Pence rejected ‘pressure campaign’ to overturn election, and Trump called him a ‘wimp’
ecstatic audience for speakers
Hundreds of people gathered this week at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center to hear eminent conservative and evangelical speakers at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority,” where Trump addressed a rapt audience.
Despite the warm response, Trump’s speech had a discordant tone from other conference speakers and occasionally reminded listeners of a well-staged church service.
Trump made fun of his political adversaries’ appearances after Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw urged Republicans not to emulate the “sheer anger of the left” with their words and deeds. He also claimed that one Republican on the select committee has a “mental disorder.”
The conference included a group of prominent Republicans and the Tennessee Senate delegation, including former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, and U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty. However, none of them mentioned the current Jan. 6 committee on Thursday or early Friday.
Nikki Haley participates in the opening of the Faith and Freedom event as the Jan. 6 hearings go on
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted on Thursday that “Real America” doesn’t care about the Jan. 6 probes prior to his own speech at the Faith & Freedom conference.
Trump, though, gave the impression that he was listening as he spent more than a half-hour of his speech criticizing the committee and the present Republican leadership.
The bipartisan House committee, according to Trump, has a “menacing spirit” and are “con artists” who are putting on a “theatrical production.” “We have to fight some very sick and very evil people,” he added.
Trump declared that he would “very seriously” consider pardoning the hundreds of people detained in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack if he ran for reelection in 2024. Charges against the rioters include attacking law enforcement and conspiring to spread seditious ideas.
Related: See who has been charged nationwide following the capital riot arrests.
Midterm battles for power
Speaking at a conference this week, speakers frequently referred to the impending midterm elections as a “battle,” using biblical and military imagery to inspire supporters for a determined campaign to regain the upper house and effectively impede Democratic President Joe Biden for the duration of his term.
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican, stated that “America needs to be saved.” “God rewards those who are courageous.”
Public schools and educational trends were criticized by several speakers. This hot-button subject has been raging in school board meetings and state legislators since last year.
A law for age- appropriate school libraries is headed to the governor’s desk in Tennessee.
Betsy DeVos, a former education secretary, promoted school choice while referring to pupils as “hostages” of the public education system.
Today’s radical-left fever dreams have kidnapped children, according to DeVos. Education should fall under the purview of the family, not the government.
Trump’s appearance sparked ongoing concerns about his prospective candidacy for another term in 2024 despite the focus on the 2022 midterm elections. Haley, a former Trump critic who is said to be thinking about running for president herself, said to a conference goer on Thursday that she would back Trump if he ran.
Do you think I should run for president? Trump posed the question on Friday to raucous applause.
Melissa Brown can be reached at [email protected].
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