Donald Trump was met with a round of boos Saturday night after he encouraged his supporters to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The former president was hosting a rally Save America rally in Cullman, Alabama when he touted the benefit of the shot, saying vaccines are ‘good’.
‘I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. But I recommend that you take the vaccines,’ Trump said to the crowd, who replied with jeers.
‘You’ve got your freedoms,’ he responded. ‘But I happened to take the vaccine.’
Donald Trump was met with negativity and a round of boos at a rally in Cullman, Alabama on Saturday night after he encouraged his supporters to get vaccinated against COVID-19
Trump told the crowd: ‘I believe totally in your freedoms, I do, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. But I recommend that you take the vaccines. You’ve got your freedoms. But I happened to take the vaccine’
Once the booing stopped, Trump told his supporters they would be the ‘first to know’ if the vaccine was ineffective.
‘If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. Ok?’ he said. ‘I’ll call up Alabama and say, ‘hey, you know what?’…But, it is working. But you do have your freedoms. You have to keep — you have to maintain that.’
He also reiterated that families ‘need to get [their] kids back to school’.
Similarly, Trump’s remarks were met with opposition on social media.
‘Anyone looking for the edge of Trumpism just found it: Trump recommends the #COVID19 vaccine to a massive Alabama rally crowd, only to get shouted down with boos from the audience. Not even Donald himself can get these folks on board with the vaccine,’ tweeted journalist Max Burns.
‘Well, I’m surprised he actually said that. Of course, it’s for selfish reasons. He needs their votes,’ Twitter user @ultmtpersister responded.
‘A lot of people fail to realize he doesn’t really lead them. They lead him. He just has no scruples and doesn’t mind playing to the least common denominator. They selectively ignore anything they didn’t already agree with,’ wrote Ryan Hill.
‘Trump advises Alabama audience to take the COVID vaccine, but says people should have the freedom to not do so if they choose. His approach is far more moral and less authoritarian than the people who claimed he’s an authoritarian for 4 years,’ Jon Miltimore tweeted.
Much like at the rally, Trump’s remarks were met with criticism on social media
Analysts say that Trump’s promotion of the shot follows news that his allies wanted him to run on a pro-vaccination campaign.
The Daily Beast reported that four individuals spoke to Trump about a pro-vaccine campaign and he had ‘shown little interest’ in associating his name to vaccination efforts.
Trump’s former top surrogate, Stephen Moore, has previously argued that the former president join Joe Biden in a national primetime address to encourage Americans to get the shot.
‘I think he would be well-advised to make a public statement and a speech [devoted to] really encouraging people to get vaccinated; I think it would influence people…It would be in his own political interest, as well as the nation’s interest,’ Moore told the news outlet.
Analysts say that Trump’s promotion of the shot follows news that his allies wanted him to run on a pro-vaccination campaign
Reportedly, those close to Trump claim the former president was ‘initially reluctant’ to promote the COVID-19 vaccine because he feared the move would be unpopular amongst his supporters and help Biden.
However, in recent weeks Trump has routinely praised the coronavirus vaccine and advocated for a return to normalcy.
Earlier this month he claimed the world could have seen 100 million deaths from COVID-19 if his administration hadn’t developed the vaccine.
‘I think if we didn’t come up during the Trump administration with the vaccine, you could have 100 million people dead just like you had in 1917,’ Trump said, comparing the current pandemic to the Spanish Flu.
He also argued that children need to return to the classrooms because school closures are leaving behind a ‘psychological scar’.
‘The schools have to open. These young people are losing a big part of their life and they’re not going to recover from it,’ Trump said two weeks ago, echoing a claim he has made time and time again.
However, while the former president has said he is very proud of the vaccine and that it ‘has been great for the world,’ he has also argued that he’s a ‘big fan of our freedoms’ and the Americans ‘have to make that choice for themselves’.
In recent weeks Trump has routinely praised the coronavirus vaccine and advocated for a return to normalcy. In fact, earlier this month he said he is very proud of the vaccine and that it ‘has been great for the world’
Also in Saturday’s address, Trump blasted Biden over the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and accused him of giving the U.S. military away to the Taliban as he appeared at a rally for thousands of supporters in Cullman, Alabama.
‘This will go down as one of the greatest military defeats of all time,’ Trump said.
Trump called the situation in Afghanistan a humiliation, claiming it’s not a withdrawal but rather ‘a total surrender’.
The former President told the massive crowd gathered in the deep red state that ‘this would have never happened if I was president.’
He said: ‘The issue here is not whether to leave Afghanistan, the issue is Joe Biden’s staggering incompetence and gross negligence … creating the greatest strategic humiliation that we’ve ever seen as a country.
‘With me in office the Taliban would not have ever dreamt of capturing our airfield or parading around with our American weapons.
‘There would have been no emergency embassy evacuation and no taking down of our flag. Because we would have established clear lines that the Taliban would never have dared to cross.
‘The problem with Biden is that our enemies are not afraid of him, they don’t respect him.’
Trump called the Afghanistan withdrawal a humiliation, claiming it is ‘a total surrender’
Trump also defended his original negotiations with Taliban leaders, after he was criticized for meeting with the warlord leaders while in office
It came as pictures emerged of Taliban fighters bearing a combination of U.S. military hardware and that used by Afghan forces, likely seized as Western and allied forces withdrew from the country.
‘Our military is being given to the enemy,’ he said.
Trump also defended his original negotiations with Taliban leaders, after he was criticized for meeting with the warlord leaders while in office.
‘Who the hell else am I supposed to be negotiating with’, he asked.
Trump made a conditional peace deal with the Taliban in 2020 to reduce the number of Afghan troops if the Taliban did not provide support to terrorists.
Trump agreed to a full military withdrawal by May 1 of this year. The Biden administration has blamed Trump for the timeline leading to the botched withdrawal.
Biden extended the deadline to September 11 and then pledged to have all US troops out by August 31.
And Trump said he was tough in the negotiations and told warned the Taliban: ‘If anything happens we will reign terror upon you.’
‘Don’t touch our American citizens,’ Trump said he told the Taliban leader. ‘Don’t touch our American citizens.’
It came as pictures emerged of Taliban fighters bearing a combination of U.S. military hardware and that used by Afghan forces, likely seized as Western and allied forces withdrew from the country
Trump said: ‘The issue here is not whether to leave Afghanistan, the issue is Joe Biden’s staggering incompetence and gross negligence’
Trump called the situation in Afghanistan a humiliation, claiming it’s not a withdrawal but rather ‘a total surrender’
He also owned his decision to set a deadline for withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan, claiming after 20 years it was time to leave the region and let them fight out their civil war without Americans lives lost in the process.
In just over a week, the Taliban was able to takeover almost all of Afghanistan, including the capital city of Kabul.
President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal was slammed by all sides.
Trump only ended his speech after it started to drizzle at the farm against after hours of clear skies between attendees entry and the speech.
After nearly an hour-and-a-half of speaking, the president noticed people were beginning to leave because of the rain.
‘By the way, it’s starting to rain,’ Trump said. ‘I will prove to you it’s my hair.’
The comment was met with roaring laughter from the thousands-strong audience.
The pregame show before Trump took stage included a short speech by Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville.
He lauded the crowd size, claiming there were people as far as he could see onto the field at York Family Farms.
‘They used to call it Woodstock, this is Trump-stock here in Cullman County,’ he said to massive cheers.
Chairman of the Alabama Republicans, John Wall, used his remarks to call Critical Race Theory a ‘demonic doctrine from the pit of hell’.
Trump also said that Wall was able to bring in $1.2 million in fundraising for the party by putting on the event.
Trump arrived to a muggy mid-80s weather, which settled after a bout of rain struck the farm grounds hours before his arrival.
Hundreds of supporters waited out a 45-minute thunderstorm after gaining entry to the rally venue. Thousands more continued to wait in line outside the farm grounds in the rain.
TRump’s guest list at the Alabama rally included Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (left) and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (right), who has focused his attention on combatting the 2020 election results
Trump defended his decision to set a deadline for withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan
Trumps said Afghanistan ‘will go down as one of the greatest military defeats of all time’
Many donned red ‘Keep America Great’ plastic ponchos.
Trump traveled to the deep red state on Saturday for the first time since his rally on February 28, 2016 in Madison, Alabama as he looks to help Representative Mo Brooks in running for the Senate.
To the right of the stage was a whole tent dedicated to Brooks’ Senate campaign.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is retiring at the end of his sixth term and, so far, four Republicans are vying in the 2022 midterms primaries to replace him – Brooks, Lynda Blanchard, Katie Britt and Jessica Taylor.
Trump slammed Shelby last month for endorsing Britt, who previously served as the senator’s chief of staff.
‘She’s like family. She’d make a good candidate. She’s probably the best-qualified candidate to come along in a long time,’ Shelby said of Britt, according to a June report. ‘I’d support her, I’d vote for her.’
President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal was slammed by all sides
Trump used that opportunity to lash out against Shelby, Britt and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
‘I see that the RINO Senator from Alabama, close friend of Old Crow Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, is pushing hard to have his ‘assistant’ fight the great Mo Brooks for his Senate seat,’ he wrote in a statement at the time.
‘She is not in any way qualified and is certainly not what our Country needs or not what Alabama wants,’ he continued. ‘For Mitch McConnell to be wasting money on her campaign is absolutely outrageous.’
He also issued his endorsement for Brooks during that July 10 statement.
‘Vote for Mo Brooks! He stands for America First, and everything Alabama wants. He also has my Complete and Total Endorsement.’
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was walking around the rally campaigning for Brooks and speaking to some of Trump’s most fervent supporters.
She held a Brooks’ campaign sign for much of the night but switched to an ‘Impeach Biden’ sign at some point as she joined Trump is calling for Biden’s removal over his handling of Afghanistan.
Brooks made some remarks just before Trump took stage, but lost the audience when he told them to try and forget about 2020 and move forward to winning 2022 and 2024.
In a video that played before Brooks took stage, it showed a clip of him at the January 6 rally in front of the White House where he told people they would start ‘Taking down names and kicking ass’.
That ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in January led up to the Capitol riot, which got Trump impeached by the House for ‘incitement of insurrection.’ He was acquitted by the Senate.
People who lined up hours before the former president’s arrival on Saturday ran to try and grab the limited seats available at York Family Farms as the audience started pouring into the venue around 2:15 p.m. – nearly five hours before Trump’s expected start time.
Outside of a few hundred seats, there was room for thousands more to stand.
As attendees made it through Secret Service checks, they were greeted with live music, a food vendor and a free water station handing out Blue Spring Living Water, which comes from Blount, Alabama.
There were also food vendors available outside the security perimeter for Trump supporters to snack on as they waited in line.
Social Media site Gettr, which was created by former Trump aide and spokesman Jason Miller, was prominently promoted at the rally.
People lined up hours before the former president’s arrival on Saturday in Cullman, Alabama
A plane flew around York Daily Farms with a banner behind it reading: ‘Twitter Sucks, Join Gettr’.
The social media platform officially launched on July 4, 2021 as an obvious conservative alternative to Twitter, as the interface and gestures have been described as similar to Jack Dorsey’s site.
Many MAGA followers started seeking social media sites that wouldn’t stifle or censor their posts and shares.
Parler emerged as the clear alternative as a site that wouldn’t censor posts and accounts, but that quickly turned sour when Apple took the app off its App Store.
Gettr emerged months later as an anti-censorship social media platform.
While initial estimates of the crowd were not immediately known, organizers publicly said they expected about 20,000 people to attend the rally.
Privately, they say 50,000 people applied for tickets which could make it the biggest Trump rally in history.
But having been burned last year – when they claimed a million people had RSVPed for a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, only for 6200 to attend – they were reluctant to make such predictions public.
Crowds of tens of thousands present their own problems. Trump arrived in Cullman two days after it announced a public health emergency amid spiralling numbers of COVID-19 cases.
A very minimal amount of rally goers were seen donning face masks at the outdoor event. Most were naked-faced while some more elderly attendees were seen with a mask.
Former President Donald Trump holds rally in northern Alabama, speaking to crowd of thousands of supporters in a rain and mud-soaked field on Saturday. Aug. 21, 2021
Donald Trump delivers remarks at a major rally hosted by the Alabama Republican Party and in conjunction with the Alabama Republican Party’s Summer Meeting to support the MAGA agenda in Cullman
Whenever the topic of masks or vaccinations were brought up by a speaker, including Trump, the crowd issues their most pronounced boos and jeers.
Alabama is one of the states experiencing the worst surge as the Delta variant ravages the nation and breakthrough cases in vaccinated Americans continue to spike.
The case-rates in Alabama are at the same level as they were in January.
In a state with a 4.903 million population, the average number of cases per day sits at more than 4,500.
A top ally previewed to DailyMail.com ahead of the speech that Trump would issue his strongest signal he’s running in 2024 by calling for ‘real leadership’ in the White House.
‘It’s time for real leadership in the White House ,’ the ally said the former president would say.
Trump has joined Democrats and Republicans in spending the past week attacking President Joe Biden for his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘I’m expecting to hear the president use the line: ‘It’s time for real leadership in the White House,’ the source said.
‘And even though aides say there is no final announcement, no final decision it still is the clearest indicator that he’s likely to run in 2024.’
The former president did not say whether he will run in the next presidential election, but he did say: ‘I was right about Biden.’
‘Not only have my predictions come 100 per cent true, but it’s even worse than any of us could have imagined in our worst nightmare,’ he said.
‘Joe Biden is a failed president,’ Trump explained. ‘He will always be a failed president.’
‘He ushered in one calamity after another.’
He listed those failures as the southern border crisis, rising crime rates in U.S. cities, the botched Afghanistan troop withdrawal, spiking gas prices, and his response to the pandemic – including vaccinations and crippling the ability of kids to return to in-person schooling.
Trump said Biden has ’emboldened our enemies’ – from China, to Russia, to North Korea, to the Taliban.
Trump traveled to the deep red state on Saturday for the first time since his rally on February 28, 2016 in Madison
Trump has repeatedly hinted that he is planning a run but insiders say no announcement is expected until after next year’s midterms.
He dangled the idea once again this week when Sean Hannity asked him the question live on Fox News.
‘So, because the campaign finance laws are extremely complicated and unbelievably stupid, I am actually not allowed to answer that question, can you believe that? I would love to answer it,’ he said.
‘But let me put it this way, I think you’ll be happy and I think a lot of our friends will be very happy.’
Biden’s approval ratings have been in freefall, first after a surge in COVID-19 cases and then amid the fall-out from television images of chaos in Kabul.
A Rasmussen Reports poll this week reported that Trump would beat Biden by six points if an election do-over were held now.
Trump insiders say Biden’s bungled handling of the crisis has reminded voters that they miss the former president’s America First message.
Trump himself has seized on the crisis to issue a running commentary with emailed statements and television interviews.
On the eve of the rally, he said: ‘Joe Biden must apologize to America for allowing the military to leave before civilians and for allowing $85 billion dollars worth of sophisticated military equipment to be handed over to the Taliban (and Russia and China so they can copy it) rather than bringing it back to the United States!’
And earlier in the week, he spelled out his concerns in detail to Hannity.
‘It’s not the concept of leaving,’ he said.
‘It’s the way they withdrew. It was not even possible to believe.’
President Biden flew back to the White House from Camp David on Tuesday evening. His approval rating has plunged and the administration is in damage limitation mode as it deals with the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. Making matters worse, Biden has spent days at the presidential retreat rather than at the White House
Biden and his officials have claimed their hands were tied by a deal struck with the Taliban by Trump.
But the former president said he made clear in negotiations there would be consequences if Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s political chief, failed to stick to the terms of their deal.
‘We had a very strong conversation,’ he said.
‘I told them upfront, I said: ‘Look, before we start, let me just tell you right now that if anything bad happens to Americans or anybody else, or if you ever come over to our land, we will hit you with a force that no country has ever been hit with before, a force so great that you won’t even believe it, and your village, and we know where it is – and I named it – will be the first one.’
American officials day they have been in contact with Kabul’s new rulers, the Taliban, who had promised safe passage for those trying to reach the airport.
Trump said the U.S. had never suffered a worse humiliation, with thousands of ‘potential hostages’ stuck in the country.
‘You can go back to Jimmy Carter with the hostages. We all thought that was a great embarrassment and we were pulled out of that by Ronald Reagan,’ he said.
‘This is a many many times worse and you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of Americans and others that are stranded and very dangerously really stranded in Afghanistan.’