“Our values are under assault like never before,” Trump said at the conservative political conference.
“Extreme left-wing radicals both inside and outside government are determined to shred our Constitution and eradicate the beliefs we all cherish.
“Far-left socialists are trying to tear down the traditions and customs that made America the greatest nation on Earth. They reject the principles of our Founding Fathers, principles enshrined into the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that our rights come from our Creator.
“But despite the delusions of the radical left, all of us here today know that our rights come from God Almighty and they can never be taken away. Together, we will protect those God-given rights for our children, our children’s children, and generations of Americans to come.”
In prepared remarks interlaced with his typical segues and anecdotes, Trump decried attempts to silence conservative voices through intimidation and social pressure.
“They are trying to hound you from the workplace, expel you from the public square, and weaken the American family and indoctrinate our children,” he said.
He portrayed the political situation in the country as a fight between traditional values on one side and socialism on the other.
“Together, we will stand up to the socialists and we will win massive victories for family, for faith, and for freedom, just like the victory we had in 2016,” he said.
Impeachment ‘Witch Hunt’
Trump has denounced the attempts of Democrats in Congress to try to impeach him for his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “witch hunt.”
A whistleblower, reportedly a CIA operative, has accused Trump, based on second-hand sources, of pressuring Zelensky during the call into starting an investigation into potential corruption of Hunter Biden and his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s now one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates.
Zelensky denied being pressured and a transcript of the call released by the White House didn’t demonstrate pressure either.
Trump especially criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who accused Trump of threatening Zelensky during what was said later by Schiff to be a “parody” paraphrasing of the call.
Trump also defended his decision to move several dozens of troops away from the Turkey–Syria border, shortly before Turkey launched an offensive against quasi-Socialist Kurdish forces in Syria, which Ankara believes are connected to a Kurdish terrorist group operating in Turkey.
The Syrian Kurds have been fighting against ISIS terrorists in the region, with U.S. support. Some in the U.S. political and military leadership have previously expressed intention to use the Kurds as a proxy military force in the region. Trump said, however, he wants to pull back from intervening in the region’s conflicts, saying the main goal of defeating the ISIS terror group’s self-professed caliphate has been accomplished.
“I don’t think our soldiers should be there for 50 years guarding a border between Turkey and Syria, when we can’t guard our own borders at home,” he said.
He said he wanted to pull out when ISIS was stripped of 97 percent of its territory.
“The military-industrial complex came down on me,” he said. “So I wanted to get 100 percent.”
The United States will still fight, Trump said, but noted that “sometimes we have to know what we’re fighting for.”
“Any military engagement where we send our men and women to fight and die must have clear objectives, vital national interests, and a realistic plan for how the conflict will end,” he said. “We don’t want to be in 19-year wars where we’re serving as a policing agent for the whole country.”
While reiterating a commitment to fight radical Islamic terrorism, Trump pointed out that the United States has spent some $8 trillion and thousands of lives in the Middle East, only to see the region further destabilize.
“These wars, they never end. And we have to bring our soldiers back from the never-ending wars,” he said.