Former President Donald Trump took the stage to the applause of more than 2,700 Alabama Republicans Friday night at the ALGOP 2023 Summer Dinner.
ALGOP Chairman John Wahl said the dinner set a record for attendance at an ALGOP event, as well as a record for a convention at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa and for an ALGOP fundraiser—raking in an estimated $1.2 million.
And all of them were there to see the former President who is currently the leading GOP candidate while also battling three separate indictments totaling 78 criminal charges.
The latest indictment, brought by a grand jury in response to charges formed by special counsel Jack Smith, focuses on Trump’s attempts to overturn 2020 election results.
But Trump took the indictments in stride, telling the crowd that he sees the indictments as “a truly great badge of honor” and repeating one of his posts on his alternate social media platform Truth Social, telling the crowd that one more indictment would secure a 2024 victory.
“I’m being indicted for you,” Trump said to rapturous applause. “Never forget our enemies want to stop us because we are the ones, the only ones, that are able to stop them. They want to take away my freedom because I will never let them take away your freedoms. They want to silence me because I will never silence you. In the end, they’re not after me; they’re after you, and I just happen to be standing in their way.”
Some of the loudest applause came when Trump talked about transgender people, promising to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals in the military, “keeping men out of women’s sports,” and stopping gender ideology from being taught in schools.
There was also much applause as Trump promised to dismantle the Department of Education.
Maybe the loudest applause came for an Alabama-specific issue, as Trump pledged to widen I-65 to six lanes “from Huntsville to Mobile” on “Day one” if elected back into the Oval Office.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville introduced Trump, and touched on his longstanding hold on military nominations. Rep. Barry Moore, one of Alabama’s six GOP Congressional delegates that have all endorsed Trump, praised Trump as the President America needs.
“Thank God this man doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit,'” Moore said.
Moore walked out on stage to Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” which has come under fire by some who consider the music video and lyrics to be a thinly veiled dog whistle against Black people and Democrats. The song meanwhile shot to the top of the country charts following the attention.
Trump also brought along singer Lee Greenwood to sing live his patriotic hit “God Bless the U.S.A.” Trump later walked out to a recording of the song.
ALGOP Chairman John Wahl said the nation is in a battle, and an identity crisis.
Speaking on Trump’s indictments, Wahl told the crowd “we have a Justice Department that wants to limit free speech and free process of thought because they have a difference of opinion on election results.”
“They will prosecute a man just because he does not share their rhetoric, and if they will do that to a former President, they will do that to you.”
The indictment specifically notes early on that Trump has the freedom to make false statements regarding the election results, but the indictment goes to actions Trump took to overturn the election results.