Trump: House Jan. 6 committee probe another 'Russia hoax,' meant to thwart political comeback
"They really want to damage me so I can no longer go back to work for you, but I don't think that's going to happen," Trump said to chants of "four more years" at think tank policy summit.
Inching closer to a 2024 presidential run, former President Donald Trump compared House Democrats' Jan. 6 committee investigation to his impeachment trials and the "Russia hoax," a reference to the discredited Russia collusion probe.
"Never forget, everything this corrupt establishment is doing to me is all about preserving their power and control over the American people," Trump told the audience at the America First Agenda Summit during his first speech in Washington since leaving office. "They want to damage you in any form."
"But they really want to damage me so I can no longer go back to work for you, but I don't think that's going to happen," Trump said to chants of "four more years" at the event organized by the America First Policy Institute.
"If I renounced my beliefs," he continued, "if I agreed to stay silent, if I stayed at home and just took it easy, the persecution of Donald Trump would stop immediately. It would stop. But that's not what I will do. I can't do that."
Trump said the Jan. 6 defendants are being treated differently than Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
"When you see what happened to Antifa, when you see what happened to all of the killings that took place all over the country, and then what they're doing to people that, in some cases, didn't even enter the building," he said. "There's two sets of justice, and we don't have to go into it, but nobody's ever seen what's happening today in our country."
Trump mentioned that California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, had said his son, Donald Trump Jr., would wind up in jail as a result of the Russia collusion probe.
"He knows it was a hoax," the former president said. "What kind of a human being can do that? Only a sick, evil, very bad human being."
Trump argued that Schiff and other members of House Democrats' Jan. 6 committee are handling their investigation like the discredited Russia probe.
During his address, Trump highlighted rising inflation, record gas prices, increased criminal activity in major cities and millions of illegal immigrants coming across the border as issues Republicans should focus on heading into the midterms.
Trump suggested life in prison or the death penalty for drug dealers. He noted that several countries including China enforce the death penalty for drug dealing.
"It's time to get brutally tough on the dealers and traffickers and narcoterrorists, cartels who are stealing over 200,000 American lives a year," he said. "These drug traffickers should and must receive the death penalty."
Trump recalled a conversation he had with President Xi of China. He asked Xi if China has a drug problem. Xi said no and wondered why Trump asked.
"If somebody is selling drugs they get the quick trial," Trump said Xi told him.
"They do have a drug problem," Trump added. "You know what they do? They make drugs and send them into our country. But I had it stopped. That was a drug problem they had."
Trump said drug dealing and drug related deaths would go down by "at least 50%" if the death penalty was enforced."