Trump blasts Biden at NH rally, says inflation, Ukraine and Israel wars ‘wouldn’t have happened’ on his watch

Former President Trump, the GOP’s current 2024 presidential frontrunner, said soaring inflation and conflicts in Ukraine and Israel “wouldn’t have happened” on his watch, blasting Democrat President Biden during a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday as the two head to a likely 2024 rematch. 

The former president referenced an interview given by Hungarian Prime Minister Vikor Orban, in which Orban touted Trump’s foreign policy.

“”He did not initiate a new war and… it would have been the greatest thing. Our world would have been a very different place right now,” Trump quoted Orban as saying.

“He said it would have been very different. And there was no way that Russia – and he’s right there – there’s no way that Russia would have invaded Ukraine. It would not be possible for Russians to do that if President Trump were president, it wouldn’t have happened. And guess what? It didn’t happen. And you know what else wouldn’t have happened? The attack on Israel wouldn’t have happened and inflation wouldn’t have happened.” 

Trump also told the crowd that Biden puts America last when it comes to global interests. 

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Former President Trump on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Durham, New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Reba Saldanha)

“These people are crazy. Crooked Joe puts China first. He puts Asia first, Ukraine first, illegal aliens first, environmental maniacs first. He puts everyone first, but he puts America last,” Trump said. “He puts New Hampshire last. He puts our workers last. He puts our farmers last. He puts everything that’s good. He puts it last. And I put New Hampshire first and I put America first.” 

The remarks come as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. CQ Brown – two top U.S. military leaders – are traveling to Tel Aviv to advise the Israeli government on how to transition from major combat operations against Hamas in Gaza to a more limited campaign and prevent a wider regional war. 

Iranian-backed militants on Saturday launched a wave of attack drones against ships in the Red Sea and said they would continue until Israel’s “aggression” ends.

One of the American warships assigned to the Ford carrier strike group, the destroyer USS Carney, “successfully engaged” 14 one-way attack drones launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. Britain reported that a Royal Navy destroyer downed another drone that was targeting commercial ships.

Trump on Saturday further placed blame on Biden for worsening tensions in the Middle East. 

Trump at New Hampshire rally

Former President Trump told the crowd on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Durham, New Hampshire, that Biden puts America last when it comes to global interests. (AP Photo/Reba Saldanha)

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“Iran was broke under the Trump administration. They didn’t have the money to fund Hamas, Hezbollah and all of the other instruments of terror. They had no money. They were totally broke. But those sanctions were lifted by a corrupt Biden administration. And now Iran is a rich country with over $200 billion. And another 6 billion for hostages and 10 billion for dollars from electricity from Iraq, all compliments of the incompetent Biden administration. Iran has so much money, they don’t know what to do with it. And China with Taiwan is next.” 

His appearance in Durham was part of a swing taking the former president through early nominating states as he cites his wide polling lead over a dwindling field of GOP hopefuls. They are trying to block his political comeback as Trump navigates multiple indictments and looks ahead to a potential rematch with Biden, who won against Trump in 2020.

Trump supporters in New Hampshire

The crowd cheers former President Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Durham, New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Reba Saldanha)

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The New Hampshire primary is Jan. 23, eight days after the Iowa caucuses begin the nominating process on Jan. 15. Nevada and South Carolina come next in the early stages, before Super Tuesday on March 5, when the highest cumulative number of delegates are up for grabs on any single day on the election calendar. 

The Trump campaign sees a path for him to secure the nomination before the Super Tuesday polls open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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