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Trump opens 2024 presidential campaign with resentment-fueled speech at Texas rally



Former President Donald Trump took a combative approach at a rally in Texas on Saturday, denouncing prosecutors investigating him and predicting his exoneration as he rallied his supporters.

The event began with a song called “Justice for All,” sung by a choir made up of people who were imprisoned for their roles in the Capitol insurrection of January 6, with footage from the attack displayed on big screens as the choir sang the national anthem.

Trump’s speech was filled with resentment, as he framed the probes against him as political attacks on him and his supporters, including the New York grand jury investigation. He declared his innocence in the investigation of a hush money payment made during the 2016 election to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years before.

The former president’s rally in Waco was intended to rally his supporters and maintain his status as the GOP frontrunner in the upcoming crowded primary. The rally came one day after Trump warned of the possibility of violence if he became the first former president in US history to face criminal charges. The location of the event was contentious, as it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Waco siege and deadly standoff between US law enforcement and the Branch Davidians.

Trump did not refer to Waco’s history directly during his speech, but spoke of holding his rally in a location with an overwhelming show of support and the infrastructure to handle a large crowd. The event was attended by thousands of people who held signs reading “Witch Hunt,” “Trump 2024,” and “I Stand with Trump.”

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