Former President Donald Trump took to the stage in Iowa on Saturday for two separate speeches as he continued his campaigning ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
Trump spoke to thousands of supporters at the DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids and the National Cattle Congress, in Waterloo, and said that he wanted to convincingly win the primary as “it sets a tone for the general election.”
Since March, polls have shown the former president opening up a considerable lead over his rivals.
According to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight, Trump is polling at an average of 55.9 percent as of Friday, October 6, compared to 14.7 percent for his closest challenger, Ron DeSantis.
During his rally Trump attacked President Joe Biden and made reference to the legal cases against him in addition to this weekend’s attack in Israel.
Newsweek has rounded up the key moments from his speech.
Trump Blames Biden for Israel Attack
The former president said Hamas’ attack against Israel would not have taken place had he remained in the White House.
He told the Waterloo crowd: “The Israeli attack was made because we are perceived as being weak and ineffective and with a really weak leader.”
Trump also said: “As president, I will once again stand with Israel and we will cut off the money to Palestinian terrorists on day one.”
The Republican also hit out at a deal that led the Biden administration to release $6 billion of Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar to facilitate a U.S.-Iran prisoner swap.
While Trump said the $6 billion had been sent to Iran, Reuters reported a Biden administration official saying none of the $6 billion had been spent yet and that it was solely for humanitarian purposes.
Trump Calls General Mark Milley Stupid
The Republican frontrunner once again hit out at retired U.S. Army General Mark Milley and criticized the handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, continuing an ongoing spat between the two.
Trump said: “I had a couple of guys, like this guy Milley. What a stupid person he is, no what a stupid person he is. Sir, he said to me, it is cheaper to leave the equipment there than to take it.”
Milley, who Trump appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last month appeared to make a thinly-veiled swipe at the former president and vowed to protect the Constitution.
He said: “We don’t take an oath to a king or a queen or to a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator.
“We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”
Trump Makes Claims About Democrats’ Abortion Position
The former president made an unsubstantiated claim that Democrats are in favor of the executing of babies after they are born if the mother does not want them.
Trump said: “If it’s after the ninth month and the baby was born, you put the baby aside. You discuss with the mother and if the mother doesn’t want the baby we execute the baby. This is part of their thing.”
There is no provision in the U.S. that allows for babies to be executed after birth if the mother does not want them.
While abortions do occur in the third trimester, 93.1 percent of the 620,327 legally induced abortions reported across the U.S. in 2020 took place early in gestation before 13 weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 5.8 percent were performed between 14 and 20 weeks gestation.
Trump Bemoans Legal Woes
The former President bemoaned that he will not have a jury for his upcoming fraud trial in New York after an appeals court rejected his request to halt it.
He referenced being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she claimed he created false and misleading statements about his finances in order to facilitate deals.
The trial has no jury and is a civil case, which means Trump will not face time in prison if he is found guilty.
Trump told the crowd: “These are crooked people, this is election interference. These are very dishonest people and she has a judge, who is a radical left judge.
“And I don’t get a jury, so even if I had a tough jury I’d win but I’m not allowed to have a tough jury. Nothing to do with checking a box. You know what they all said, oh the lawyer. No, you can’t check a box. There’s no box to check.”
Trump Says He Has A Better Body Than Biden
The former president was applauded after he insulted the current White House incumbent after photos emerged showing Biden shirtless on a beach.
Trump said: “He’s got a consultant somewhere. This is the worst consultant in politics that thinks he looks good in a bathing suit, right?
“He spends so much time at the beach, how do you do that and, you know, I have a much better body than him. But I’m not really sure that I want to expose it.”
Trump Gushes Over His Ivanka and Hanibal Lecter
Trump at the speech in Cedar Rapids heaped praise on his daughter Ivanka Trump, describing her as a “beauty” and “the whole package.”
According Raw Story, Trump ventured away from his speech and spoke about how beautiful he considered his daughter to be.
He continued: “The beauty, the style. The style, the beauty. The whole package.”
The former president then commented that he was “not allowed” to speak about his daughter’s appearance.
Trump also praised fictional serial killer Hanibal Lecter, although he quickly clarified he meant an actor who portrayed him, who he claimed said that he loved the former president.
He said: “Hanibal Lecter, how great an actor he was. You know why I like him? Because he said on television ‘I love Donald Trump’ so I love him.”
It is unclear which of the several actors who have portrayed Lecter Trump referred to and none have publicly stated their support for the president.
Newsweek has contacted a Trump spokesperson for comment via email.