On Sunday, President Donald Trump traveled to Henderson, Nevada, for a fully indoor evening rally, the first of its kind since his humiliating Tulsa “disaster” in June. Before he took the stage, the city officially objected to the campaign event, stating it was in direct violation of the governor’s coronavirus emergency directives.
For months, several of the president’s own senior administration officials and close advisers had repeatedly warned him that large, indoor political rallies could risk spreading the virus and inflicting it upon his fans.
On Sunday night, Trump and his team continued to not care.
“If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said, hours before the president took the stage Sunday night.
And when his supporters heard from Trump after he hit the Xtreme Manufacturing stage around 10 p.m. ET, it was generally just more of the same. The president accused his 2020 Democratic opponent Joe Biden of putting law enforcement officers “directly in harm’s way.” He railed against “anarchists,” “arsonists,” and protesters in American streets. He claimed that “Biden wants to appease domestic terrorists.” He said that if you murder a police officer, “you should receive the death penalty.”
Roughly 30 minutes into his speech, the president once again called for a draconian law against flag-burning.
“If you burn the [American] flag, you go to jail for one year,” Trump said, to rapturous applause and cheers from the crowd. “I would love to see it…That’s not freedom of speech.” (It is.)
Shortly after, he moved on to riffing on some of his favorite topics such as “Crazy Bernie” Sanders, vaccine development, the “China Virus,” and his baseless claims that state COVID-19 restrictions are “all political” to stop Trump’s reelection. He also took the time to mock cable-news host Chris Cuomo and CNN’s ratings.
“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” the state’s Democratic governor Steve Sisolak tweeted on Sunday evening. “The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
For what it’s worth, Trump’s defiance of state and local leaders also allowed his fans to hear him talk more about restricting immigration, and see him go on an extended monologue about MMA fighters.
“Under those beautiful suits, there are a lot of muscles. A lot of power. A lot of genius for fighting, and for other things,” the president told the adoring audience of conservatives and MAGA devotees. “But a lot of genius under those suits.”