Trump back in Washington, feted by Republican lawmakers

By AFP
June 14, 2024
Former US president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2022 (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on February 26, 2022. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump enjoyed an effusive welcome on his return to Washington on Thursday as he rallied support from Republican lawmakers following his criminal conviction in New York.

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The former president, who is neck-and-neck with his successor Joe Biden in the race for the White House, thanked members of the House of Representatives at a private club near the US Capitol who sang “Happy Birthday” to the billionaire, who turns 78 on Friday.

It was Trump´s first meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill since leaving the White House in 2021, and his first trip to Washington since he was convicted last month in New York on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. He was in a defiant mood, according to US media citing people in the room, as he called out the Republicans who had voted to impeach him after the 2021 assault on the Capitol and called the Justice Department “dirty, no good bastards.” “Great meeting with Republican Representatives. Lots discussed, all positive, great poll numbers!” Trump posted on Truth Social afterward.

The Republican, who was due to speak with senators and business leaders later Thursday, took credit for the Supreme Court ending federal protections for abortion access in 2022 and railed against Biden´s foreign policy.

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