In a fiery speech discrediting several women accusing him of sexual misconduct, Donald Trump deflected the attention from his alleged indiscretions to the power of a “global power structure” out to “destroy” him.
Speaking at a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate sought to pin this election as the “last chance” his supporters have at overthrowing the “corrupt” establishment — of the media, government, special interests, and corporations all working in concert.
“It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” Trump told the crowd. “For them it’s a war, and for them nothing at all is out of bounds. This is a struggle for the survival of our nation, believe me. And this will be our last chance to save it on November 8 — remember that.”
After a 2005 tape of Trump saying obscene things about women surfaced on Friday, and multiple women accused him of unwanted, inappropriate contact on Wednesday, his campaign appeared to be unravelling. Prominent Republicans withdrew their endorsements. Polls showed his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton surging to victory.
Trump has been espousing anti-establishment rhetoric since he entered the race, but his denunciations on Thursday were spiced with a renewed vigour, seeming to galvanize and reassure his base.
In the Palm Beach speech, he suggested that the media and the banks, in particular, were working to elect the “Clinton machine” so that they could stay in power, and that they were behind the personal attacks lobbed against him in the last week — taking an almost apocalyptic tone.
“For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before,” Trump said. “This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilisation that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.”
Some, including the head of the Anti-Defamation League, cautioned that Trump’s specific attacks on the media and the banks were “Fascist code for ‘Jews’,” the New York Times reported.
Sean Sullivan with The Washington Post wrote that this belief the “global power structure” was out to get him fit into Trump’s support for other conspiracy theories — from the President Barack Obama birther fiasco to suggesting his Republican primary opponent Ted Cruz’s father was connected to John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Only 26 days and one final debate stand between the American people and a new president. As Trump said to close his speech:
“Our Independence Day is at hand, and it arrives finally on Nov. 8.”
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