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Trump Lashes Out in First Rally Since F.B.I. Search


WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — In his first rally since his home was searched by the F.B.I. on Aug. 8, former President Donald J. Trump on Saturday lashed out at President Biden and federal agents, calling his Democratic rival “an enemy of the state” and the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice “vicious monsters.”

In an aggrieved and combative speech in Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump stoked anger against law enforcement whilst the F.B.I. and federal officials have faced a rise in threats following the search of Mr. Trump’s residence to retrieve classified documents.

Mr. Trump’s remarks echoed the chain of comparable, escalating attacks he wrote on his social media website this week, including posts that singled out one agent by name. That agent has retired, and his lawyers have said he didn’t have a task within the search.

Although he faced criticism for the tirades, and a few Republicans have warned in regards to the political dangers in attacking law enforcement, the previous president signaled he would yield no ground.

His speech got here two days after Mr. Biden warned that democratic values were under assault by forces loyal to Mr. Trump. The previous president described Mr. Biden’s address as “essentially the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president.”

“You’re all enemies of the state,” Mr. Trump told 1000’s of supporters at his rally, where he was campaigning for Pennsylvania Republicans, including State Senator Doug Mastriano, the right-wing nominee for governor, and Mehmet Oz, the celebrity television physician and Senate candidate. “He’s an enemy of the state, you wish to know the reality,” he said of Mr. Biden.

He told the group: “It was not only my home that was raided last month. It was the hopes and dreams of each citizen who I’ve been fighting for.”

Mr. Trump described America as a nation in decline, a theme that has develop into a staple of his post-White House campaign rallies. In Pennsylvania, he again falsely claimed he won the 2020 election and tailored his speech to spotlight a spate of recent murders in Philadelphia.

Mr. Biden has also spent considerable time in Pennsylvania in recent days, underscoring the political significance this 12 months of what stands out as the nation’s ultimate battleground state. He forged Trumpism as an urgent threat to the nation in Philadelphia, and he also spoke in Wilkes-Barre, near the world where Mr. Trump appeared. He is anticipated in Pittsburgh on Monday for a Labor Day appearance.

On the rally, Mr. Trump attacked the 2 Democratic candidates at the highest of the ticket, Josh Shapiro for governor and John Fetterman for senator.

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He was particularly brutal and unrestrained in attacking Mr. Fetterman, whom he called a “socialist loser” and accused, with no evidence, of using a laundry list of hard drugs.

Mr. Fetterman’s campaign responded: “An increasing number of lies from Trump and Dr. Oz; one other day, however it’s the identical crap from these two desperate and sad dudes.”

Soon after, Mr. Fetterman was fund-raising off Mr. Trump’s speech.

Roy Bunger, a 65-year-old Pennsylvanian who attended Mr. Trump’s rally, said before the event that he believed the search of Mr. Trump’s residence was a political ploy.

“They’re deliberately targeting him and doing anything they will to maintain him from running again,” Mr. Bunger said.

But other Republicans have been more wary of Mr. Trump’s actions. Earlier this week, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said Mr. Trump must have turned the documents over. William P. Barr, who served as attorney general under Mr. Trump, has defended the F.B.I. search.

Court records show that the F.B.I. has collected 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 marked as secret, 31 marked as confidential and 11,179 government documents or photographs without classification markings. In response to the court filings, the sensitive, government-owned documents were in containers mixed amongst news clippings, articles of clothing and gifts.

It was unclear whether more documents remained at Mr. Trump’s property. Federal agents recovered 48 empty folders with classified markings and directions that the user should “return to staff secretary/military aide,” in response to court records.

A Florida judge is considering a request from Mr. Trump’s lawyers to permit an independent arbiter to review the materials taken by federal agents.

Katie Glueck reported from Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa., and Michael C. Bender from Washington.

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