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Trump news – latest: Ex-president focuses on crime in speech, as AG Garland hints at charges against him

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Donald Trump says ‘radical left’s anti-police narrative’ is the Big Lie

Donald Trump has delivered his first Washington speech since leaving office, just hours after Mike Pence told a crowd of supporters that “elections are about the future” – an apparent rejection of his former boss’s fixation on the supposed “theft” of the 2020 election.

The former president spoke at the America First Policy Institute summit focusing on crime and law and order, painting an image of America as a lawless “cesspool” and advocating for quick trials and the execution of drug dealers.

Mr Trump also hit out at trans people, decried the state of the US border with Mexico saying it was “poisoning our country”, and againteased a potential run for the White House in 2024.

He also railed against the various investigations against him including the January 6 House select committee, just as the evidence revealed in its latest hearing puts increasing pressure on Mr Trump and his supporters.

Meanwhile, Congressman Jamie Raskin, one of the Democratic members of the committee, said that he does not believe the Secret Service’s explanation for why agents’ texts from 5 and 6 January 2021 are missing.

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“Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a great honour,” says former President Donald Trump, ending his speech around 5:05, having spoken to the audience for approximately 90 minutes.

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Trump gets a standing ovation for saying who else could’ve taken this, noting Nixon didn’t even go through one impeachment.

He again hints at a reelection bid, saying the January 6 committee and other Democrat-led efforts “want to damage me so I can no longer go back to work for you.”

“And I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Trump adds, to huge applause and chants of “four more years!!”

“If I just agreed to stay silent, if I stayed at home, and just took it easy, the persecution of Trump would stop immediately,” Trump says.

Adding, to more applause, “But that’s not what I will do.”

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Republicans insist most gun violence happens in Democratic cities – does it?

You would think, hearing many prominent Republicans discuss America’s gun violence epidemic, that most shootings only occur in large cities in Democratic states like Los Angeles and New York, proving that gun laws make no difference, or that Black Lives Matter protests had somehow led to an end of effective policing.

After a gunman killed 21 people at an elementary school in the rural border town of Uvalde, Texas, officials there still pointed to Chicago as the place where gun violence was really happening, despite Illinois’ more stringent gun laws.

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Trump says to senators to not take tariff powers away from the president, saying that if they do they are “not great Americans, and I’ll say that very strongly”.

Continuing to hop from topic to topic, Trump says: “Our goal should be same-day voting with only paper ballots.” He adds only the military and “legitimately ill” people should be able to vote remotely.

Skipping through the various attacks against him, he skips through Russia collusion, the two impeachments, and the January 6 investigation.

“Who has been through anything like this, seriously?” says Trump.

“These are hacks and thugs,” adds Trump of the January 6 committee members, calling them “the same people who perpetrated the lie I was an agent of Russia”.

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Returning to the topic of illegal immigration and the connection with crime, Trump says: “We do not have a moment to waste. Our country is in a condition on crime we have never seen before.”

He adds of his America First agenda: “I look forward to laying out many more of the details in weeks and months to come.”

Finally referring to his unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, he said: “I won the second time. Trump calls the correction “very corrupt”.

“We may just have to do it again” he hints, to loud applause and cheers.

He then pivots to the need to be able to fire rogue government bureaucrats: “Washington will be an entirely different place.”

Here’s more on that proposal:

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White House mulls another extension on student loan repayment pause

President Joe Biden is considering another pause on repayments for federally-backed student loans, which are set to resume at the end of August.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the new action from Mr Biden could take the form of either another short-term pause that would get borrowers through the fall or a longer-term action that would suspend all payments through next summer. The news outlet cited anonymous officials with knowledge of the White House’s discussions.

Mr Biden is also reportedly considering forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

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Trump calls for ‘quick’ death penalty for drug dealers

Former president Donald Trump called for drug dealers to receive the death penalty among a series of harsh policies about crime during his first speech in Washington since leaving office on Tuesday.

Trump made the remarks while speaking at a summit led by the America First Policy Institute, which features many former administration officials.

Mr Trump used his speech to talk about rising crime rates, though there is some evidence that gun violence is worse in Republican states. The former president called for “very, very severe” penalties.

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Trump moves on to talking about “open borders”, referring to them as a “gaping wound”.

He says he couldn’t talk about the border during the 2020 election because he did such a good job on it.

“When I campaigned in 2016, the border was a big deal. I talked about it constantly and I won.”

In 2020, he says: “there was nothing to talk about”.

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The biggest applause so far comes after the line: “We should not allow men to play in women’s sports.”

“That gets the biggest hand,” Trump acknowledges going into an extended bit about swimmers and weightlifters and about becoming a women’s basketball coach.

He also said he opposed puberty blockers in children.

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Trump advocates for the construction of massive tent cities on inexpensive land outside of cities and send the homeless there to live.

“I want to take care of the people” and “save our cities,” he says.

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