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Indicted Donald Trump struts onto Iowa campaign stage as song about being president or going to PRISON blares

Indicted Donald Trump was filmed taking the stage of the Iowa GOP‘s Lincoln Dinner sound tracked by a song with lyrics about being president or going to prison.

‘One could end up going to prison, one just might be president,’ the Brooks & Dunn song, which had been played for each candidate as they took the stage, blared in the background.

In the footage, Trump can be seen bounding up to the stage while a crowd of people wave, cheer and applaud.

Taking a moment to look at the crowd, Trump beams as he walks toward the lectern.

Trump has been plagued with a litany of legal woes including 34 felony counts in connection with hush money payments to a porn star and 37 felony counts for mishandling classified documents less than three months later.

There are also two other ongoing criminal probes, both related to 2020 election interference, which may prompt further indictments of Trump and his allies.

Taking a moment to look at the crowd, Trump beams as he walks toward the lectern the background music seemingly left unnoticed

Indicted Donald Trump was filmed taking the stage of the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner soundtracked by a song with lyrics about being president or going to prison

The irony of the Brooks & Dunn song, however, appeared lost on the former U.S. President and his applauding audience – with the moment seemingly left unnoticed.

Trump has never shied from his legal troubles and has on more than one occasion used them as proof of an apparent witch hunt that he believes has been launched against him.

‘By the way, if I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me. Or if I was losing by a lot, I would have nobody coming after me,’ he announced at the dinner on Friday evening.

The rare appearance with fellow candidates in Iowa was marked by the Republican frontrunner claiming ‘there is only one candidate’ who can ‘win the election big.’

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Trump is currently ahead in the polls as of July 27 at 52.4 per cent about 37 points ahead of DeSantis.

Trump was the final speaker at the Lincoln Dinner, which was attended by 13 Republican hopefuls, each only given 10 minutes to speak.

It was clear that the ex-president won the crowd – receiving standing ovations and more applause than any other candidate – with the only Republican to bring up Trump’s legal turmoil booed offstage.

Whether he could win the next election after losing the last was another story, but he pointed to all sorts of polling data to make his case, claiming that his chief primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ‘is losing to Biden in all cases.’

‘I wouldn’t take a chance on that one,’ he said, garnering laughs.

DeSantis managed only a gentle contrast, offering himself as the most electable of the field. And former Vice President Mike Pence delivered his familiar warning of ‘the siren song of populism.’

Trump made a rare appearance at a 2024 event with other GOP candidates, attending Friday night's Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines

Trump made a rare appearance at a 2024 event with other GOP candidates, attending Friday night’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Des Moines

Trump focused all of his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who only vaguely constrasted himself with the ex-president during his 10 minutes onstage

Trump focused all of his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who only vaguely contrasted himself with the ex-president during his 10 minutes onstage

Trump didn’t bother with any of the other hopefuls – only calling out the Florida governor.

‘I’ve been an unwavering warrior for Iowa ethanol and I will remain your ethanol champion, very important to you economy. Ron DeSanctus has aggressively fought against ethanol, which I think would be devastating for Iowa,’ he said, starting out his assault.

Trump talked up his relationship with Iowa in other ways too.

Many in the GOP field are running an Iowa-or-bust strategy, so if Trump squashes them in the January 15 caucuses, he has a much easier path to the nomination.

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‘I’m here to deliver a very simple message Iowa has never had a better friend in the White House than President Donald J. Trump,’ he said at the top.

He later gave himself credit for saving the Hawkeye State’s first-in-the-nation caucus position.

‘I won Iowa twice by really a lot. And together we will crush crooked Joe Biden. The most crooked president in the history of our country by a lot. He’s also grossly incompetent, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s destroying our country,’ Trump said.

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The ex-president only briefly brought up his mounting legal woes, with Special Counsel Jack Smith filing a surprise superseding indictment Thursday, alleging that Trump had ordered surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago wiped.

‘By the way, if I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me,’ he said. ‘If I was losing by a lot I would have nobody coming after me – they wouldn’t be coming after me.’

Former Rep. Will Hurd was the only candidate to bring up Trump's legal woes - and was awarded by the audience by getting booed

Former Rep. Will Hurd was the only candidate to bring up Trump’s legal woes – and was awarded by the audience by getting booed 

Only rank outsider Will Hurd, a former U.S. Representative, dared remind the 1,200 or so Iowa Republicans gathered at the Des Moines convention center of the brewing legal storm.

‘Donald Trump is not running for president to represent the people that voted for him in 2016 and 2020,’ he said. ‘Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison. And if we elect …’

He was cut off by boos and jeers. ‘I know. I know… The truth is hard,’ he said before wrapping up his speech a minute and a half early, hurrying offstage.

Another longshot candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, also called out Trump by name.

He was also the only candidate – who went over the 10-minute time limit and had his microphone cut off.

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DeSantis didn’t hit Trump directly, reheating his stump speech that majors on cutting down the federal government, focuses on his achievements in Florida and talks up the culture wars.

He did allude to Trump’s controversial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, when touting how he kept Florida open.

Former Rep. Will Hurd was the only candidate to bring up Trump's legal woes - and was awarded by the audience by getting booed

Former Rep. Will Hurd was the only candidate to bring up Trump’s legal woes – and was awarded by the audience by getting booed

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also told the crowd that the party needed to move on from Trump. He was the only candidate to go over his allotted 10 minutes

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also told the crowd that the party needed to move on from Trump. He was the only candidate to go over his allotted 10 minutes

‘You don’t coddle bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, you bring them in and you say, ‘You are fired,’ DeSantis said.

Earlier he pointed out to newsmen, that Trump keeping Fauci on staff was one of the areas where he’s openly criticized the ex-president.

‘He elevated Fauci, he left him in there, he didn’t fire him. I would have done just the opposite,’ DeSantis said.

But the Florida governor ended with what might be his most important contrast with a president who failed to secure a second term in 2020: electability.

‘We either win this election and make good on all the promises that we’re making, or the Democrats are going to throw this country into a hole that’s going to take us a generation to come out of,’ he said.

‘I believe that decline is a choice. I believe success is attainable, and I know that freedom is worth fighting for.

‘This is our chance in 2024 to send the Biden Harris administration to the dustbin of history where it belongs.’

Half the room rose from their seats and their plates of chicken and mashed potatoes for a rousing round of applause.

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Pence used the chance to take a swing at his old boss.

‘Joe Biden has been a disaster for America. And I understand the temptation to cling to what is familiar over leadership fitted to the times,’ he said in a familiar refrain from his stump speech.

‘But I believe we must resist the politics of personality, and the siren song of populism unmoored to conservative values, because different times calls for different leadership to defeat Joe Biden.’

Some of the candidates had fun with the latest Biden family drama, with the president and first lady acknowledging their seventh grandchild for the first time.

Former U.N. Amb. Nikki Haley poked fun at the Biden family drama saying that the mental competency tests she’s pitched for office holders older than 75 are easy

They did so in a statement to People magazine, as the Bidens head to their Rehoboth Beach home for summer vacation.

‘Our son Hunter and Navy’s mother, Lunden, are working together to foster a relationship that is in the best interests of their daughter, preserving her privacy as much as possible going forward,’ it said.

‘This is not a political issue, it’s a family matter,’ Biden’s statement continues. ‘Jill and I only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.’

Former U.N. Amb. Nikki Haley alluded to the news, as she talked about how easy it would be to pass one of the mental competency tests she’s pitched for office holders older than 75.

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‘There aren’t a tough test,’ she said. ‘What town were you born in? How many grandchildren do you have?’ she added to laughs.

Hutchinson, who appeared directly after her onstage, used a similar line: ‘I know how many grandchildren I have – seven.’

 

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