SIOUX CITY — Former President Donald Trump is expressing confidence he’ll finish well ahead of his GOP competitors in the Iowa Caucuses, but during an event in Sioux City on Sunday Trump said the rivalry he’s most focused on is a 2024 rematch with Joe Biden.
“We have to really go to town because you know they cheat, you know that, right? And you know how you beat cheaters? You have to swamp them,” Trump said. “Not drain the swamp, in this case you have to build the swamp. In this case we’ll build one.”
Three lawyers who worked for Trump or his 2020 campaign who were charged along with Trump for trying to overturn Georgia’s election results have pleaded guilty this month. On Sunday, Trump repeated his complaints about his loss to Biden and the indictments he now faces. Trump said he has accumulated $100 million in legal fees.
Trump told the Sioux City crowd his 2024 campaign advisers have suggested it’s “disrespectful” to say he’s going to win Iowa. “They said: ‘Sir, it would be nice if you didn’t say that because you can’t just assume. You know, people may get upset.’ I said: Now wait a minute. I got Iowa and the farm states — Nebraska, Wisconsin and others — I got farmers $28 billion from China,’” Trump told the crowd. “I said: ‘There’s no way Iowa’s voting against Trump.’”
Over 2000 people were in the theater in Sioux City on Sunday afternoon to hear Trump, who was on stage for nearly 90 minutes. He offered brief critiques of GOP challengers Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, but never mentioned that Mike Pence, his vice president, dropped out of the race this weekend. Trump promised the crowd he’d prevent World War III if he returns to the White House and he’d force Europe to match what the Biden Administration has given to Ukraine.
“We have to say on Ukraine: ‘You’ve got to pay up…You’re right next to it,’” Trump said. “We’ve got a whole ocean in between us.”
At one point, the crowd cheered to signify where they were from and it appeared there were contingents from South Dakota and Nebraska, even a few were from Minnesota. Republican State Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale was the first elected official to endorse Trump in 2015 and he asked Iowans in the crowd to be the first to back Trump in 2024. “It’s great to come to these rallies and get all excited, but really you have to show up on the night of our Caucuses, on January 14th,” Zaun said. “It really is about a half hour, 45 minutes of your time.”
Republican Senator Lynn Evans of Aurelia told the crowd the 2024 Iowa Caucuses are the most important political event in their lifetime. “We’re in a battle people and this is a battle of good verses evil,” Evans said. “…Due directly through the actions of our current administration and through their compete and utter show of weakness, the entire world has become unsafe.”
Earlier today the Trump campaign released a list of 100 “faith leader” in the state who’ve endorsed Trump.