The Florida Freedom Summit — hosted by that state’s Republican Party — featured some of the GOP presidential candidates vying for Florida’s convention ballots. Held in Kissimmee, Florida, and attended this year by both Governor Ron DeSantis and former president Donald Trump, it gave Trump — the leading contender for the party nomination — a chance to present a very clear vision about what he’ll do if he’s given power again.
If there was ever a time to believe what Donald Trump says, it’s in this moment, as he doles out dire visions of what he hopes to do with a return to power.
In his Freedom Summit speech, he admitted to firing the former FBI Director James Comey — and others — in order to save himself from investigations. He also promised vengeance in his next term.
Trump’s appearance reflected on his history and gave warning for the future.
It began even before his speech, as he invited a number of Florida politicians on stage to celebrate their endorsements of his candidacy. As they left, one, Mike Beltran, was caught on the mic thanking Trump for “what you did on abortion.”
Beltran is among the most extreme anti-abortion Republicans. He’s someone who supported the 6-week abortion ban for Florida and, according to Bay News 9, has even said that further restrictions could be forced, thanks to the overturning of the Roe v. Wade precedent.
That’s right, all this thanks to the outcome of Trump’s packing anti-choice Justices onto the Supreme Court.
More limits on reproductive freedom aren’t all Trump promised, though. He’s promising the largest mass deportation in history, including of any “suspected” gang members.
So much for his ranting about due process.
In fact, Trump’s own legal problems came up, too. He boasted openly about firing James Comey — and about doing so in order to protect himself from investigations and potential prosecutions — something he vehemently denied at the time.
Trump has already spoken of prosecuting or otherwise punishing those who are currently investigating him and extracting revenge on who he sees as political enemies, including the current president and his son.
He reiterated this, promising to set up a “Truth & Reconciliation Commission,” and said that Biden will be its first target.
It’s more than a bit awkward promise to make since Trump and his cohorts attacked Homeland Security for forming a Disinformation Governance Board to address the spread of propaganda.
He described the board as the “Ministry of Truth,” a reference to George Orwell’s 1984, in which an agency by the same name is tasked with deciding what truths the populace are allowed to believe and eliminating dissidents.
His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., even mocked the panel by saying he’d run to head it. At the time, his remarks could be seen as a joke. Now it’s his own father who’s promising to set up just such a department, and Jr. could have a realistic shot at a seat.
Much of Trump’s speech was the usual bluster, grievances, and attacks on his rivals, but his plans and promises — mass deportation, political abuse of the Justice system, and more — can’t be overshadowed by his standard noise.
He’s making promises, and they must be taken seriously.
See Don Jr.’s tweet below. It has aged ironically, considering his father’s plans.Trump gets credit for blocking abortion access — and for the potential for further blocking of reproductive freedom.
Florida Republican who helped pass an extreme 6-week abortion ban caught on hot mic to Trump: “I appreciate what you did on abortion” pic.twitter.com/oIxWwfD2QX
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) November 4, 2023
Trump talks about firing those who investigate him.
Trump: I got rid of Comey. I got rid of the FBI top guys. I got rid of them of all. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be standing here talking to you. pic.twitter.com/zWSa8Zyvu3
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 4, 2023
Trump describes his plan for a Ministry of Truth.
Trump: Everything is a lie. The whole thing is a lie. The whole election was a lie pic.twitter.com/73NQT6z5gX
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 4, 2023
It’s remarkable what Florida Republicans consider “freedom” these days.
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: