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Former president Donald Trump speaking to a large crowd at the Landers Center in Southaven on Saturday as part of the American Freedom Tour.

As part of the American Freedom Tour, several high-profile conservative figures joined former president Donald Trump at the Landers Center on Saturday, where they spoke about inflation, the Afghanistan withdrawal and the possibility of another presidential run for Trump in 2024.

The Landers Center, the largest indoor arena in Southaven, held a near-capacity crowd which erupted in cheers as Trump walked onto the stage. Perhaps to be expected, Trump touted his accomplishments while poking fun at his political opponents.

“When I was president, America was respected like we have never been respected before,” Trump said. “But it only took 17 months for Joe Biden to turn it into a total catastrophe. But we can restore our country to greatness.”

Trump praised his administration’s work to make the United States energy independent. He said energy independence, or not relying on other countries for fuel, was crucial in keeping gas prices low, sometimes below $2 per gallon, less than two years ago.

With gas prices that have exceeded $5 in many parts of the country, Trump attacked President Joe Biden’s use of the war in Ukraine as an excuse for inflation. He also joked about Biden’s fall from a bicycle earlier in the day, which quickly became a viral video on the internet.

“We didn’t blame everything on Putin when I was president, we just got the job done,” Trump said. “Also, I hope Joe has recovered from his bicycle accident today. I will make the pledge today that I will never ride a bicycle.”

Trump then reaffirmed his belief in traditional energy sources and his disbelief in climate change. He mocked global warming as the inferior issue to “nuclear warming”, in regards to Iran’s growing nuclear arsenal and his displeasure with Biden’s response.

Like several of his comrades, Trump was especially irritated about the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which left close to $70 billion in weapons and military equipment with the Taliban, who soon seized control of the majority of the country.

“When the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan happened, and when Putin saw how stupid we were, I bet he said, ‘this is my chance’,” Trump said. “He sure didn’t do it when I was in office, I can tell you that.”

Despite the pressures of the January 6 Committee investigations, Trump said that the insurrection narrative is a “hoax” and “another witch hunt” aimed to cover up crimes committed by Democrats. He followed the controversial remarks with jokes towards the mainstream media and less-committed Republicans.

He continued his controversial remarks when he reaffirmed his stance that he won the 2020 Presidential Election and claimed widespread voter fraud was the primary cause of Biden’s victory. The statements drew loud cheers from the crowd of nearly 8,000 attendees.

“I ran twice and I won twice, and I did much better the second time,” Trump said. “I received more votes than any sitting president by far, and I may have to do it again.”

While Trump teased a run for president in 2024, he has not yet made an official announcement to do so. The American Freedom Tour has not been a campaign rally, but a for-profit event that has been hosted in cities across the country.

Trump did not speak until nearly 3:30 p.m. on Saturday but several speakers mirrored much of what the former president said earlier in the day. Political commentator and author Dinesh D’Souza said that conservatives should strive to build their own America within America.

“We have to create our own schools, our own movies,” D’Souza said. “We have to then circle around it and defend it. We as Republicans must think creatively on how we go after the other side.”

Donald Trump Jr. went after the other side for the majority of his speech. He emphasized internet censorship, his displeasure towards new gun control measures and his prediction of the struggling economy if Biden were to be elected.

Nine months pregnant, political commentator, author and founder of Brexit Candace Owens also made an appearance and hefty claim. She said that the COVID-19 vaccine was the cause of singer Justin Bieber’s facial paralysis, which was made public online this month.

“Democrats fought to keep our children in masks and erase the idea of individualism,” Owens said. “They erased the concept of the black family by paying more welfare to black women who did not marry their children’s father. This has become a system of dependency.”

Owens, along with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said that they did not support transgender recognition and joked about the LGBTQ abbreviation. Sheriff Mark Lamb, known for his border control stance, and TV news anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle were among the other speakers at the event.

Perhaps as a surprise, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves spoke to the crowd as well, delivering a very conservative message on his desire to end abortion and the teaching of critical race theory in Mississippi schools.

“The time to end the radical abortion industry is now. The liberals are pushing critical race theory and drag shows in our schools and crime is skyrocketing... Democrats want to hang the police,” Reeves said.

“The only thing Joe Biden has accomplished is make Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama look better by comparison,” Reeves continued. “And that’s no easy accomplishment.”

The American Freedom Tour has one more destination listed on it’s website in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tickets to the Southaven event ranged from $45 to $4,000, some of which offered the opportunity to take a photo with or ask the speakers questions.

Trump said that the event broke an attendance record at the Landers Center but the claim could not be immediately confirmed.

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