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Donald Trump is trying to position himself as the anti-war candidate heading into the Republican primary campaign.
The former president has bashed President Joe Biden's handling of Afghanistan and Ukraine, where he vaguely insists he could achieve peace in 24 hours or less, and he has attacked would-be Republican rivals as "globalist" and "neo-conservative," reported Politico.
“Trump is the peace president and he’s the first president in two generations to not start a war," said one source close to the Trump campaign, "whereas if you look at [Gov. Ron] DeSantis’ congressional record, he’s voted for more engagement and more military engagement overseas."
“Trump is the only person who has said no more funding for the Ukraine war," that source added. "I haven’t heard Nikki Haley say anything like that ... Pompeo or Pence? Where do they stand on Ukraine?”
Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence have each called for the U.S. to fund the Ukrainian war against Russia and criticized the Biden administration for not doing enough, but another former Trump administration official who's mulling a 2024 presidential run said the former president would prove vulnerable on foreign policy.
“He doesn’t have policy on much of anything, he has Donald Trump,” said former national security adviser John Bolton. “So his most recent musing is that if he were president he could solve Ukraine-Russia dispute in 24 hours — I think it is so ridiculous it falls on its own weight."
"I think people over time and self-identified Republicans just don’t buy it," Bolton added.
During the awards ceremony, Smith and Petras performed their song "Unholy," with Smith clad in a top hat featuring red devil horns and surrounded by red-robed female dancers.
Conservatives on Twitter reacted with horror to the performance, which they believed was an actual tribute to Satan.
"The Grammys have gone full-on Satan worship right on prime time TV," wrote Newsmax's Benny Johnson.
Christian life coach Solomon Buchi also thought that the performance was not symbolic but a literal ritual in honor of the devil.
"If as a Christian, you think we are reaching when we talk about the dominance and normalization of Satan worship in pop music, you need discernment," he wrote. "Sam Smith’s performance at the Grammy’s last night was satanic, gory. No, it’s not art; it’s symbolic of who they serve."
Human Events editor Ben Kew also believed that the performance was intended to pay tribute to the Lord of Darkness.
"I know we on the right probably use the word satanic too often but this peformance (sic) from Sam Smith is literally a tribute to Satan," he argued.
"Definitely not a spiritual war," Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk sarcastically quipped about the performance.
Other right-wing Christians linked Smith's performance to the COVID-19 vaccines, which many of them believe to be the biblical "Mark of the Beast."
"Sam Smith’s satanic performance at the Grammy’s ended with a Pfizer commercial," wrote conservative influencer Robby Starbuck. "You can’t get it more on the nose than that. Pfizer and Hollywood deserve each other."
Another right-wing Twitter user complained about the injustice of Smith being allowed to wear fake devil horns on television even as rapper Kanye West was canceled for opening praising late Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
Republican Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and ex-governor of South Carolina, is expected to formally announce her presidential run on Wednesday, February 15. This will make Haley the second candidate to officially enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary, although Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be gearing up to enter that primary as well.
According to Daily Beast reporters Jake Lahut and Zachary Petrizzo, former President Donald Trump and his allies are hoping to derail Haley’s campaign before it gains momentum. Trump was the first GOP candidate to officially announce his 2024 presidential run.
“With the former UN ambassador telegraphing her presidential announcement, the Trump campaign is champing at the bit to finally vanquish an enemy after a sleepy first few months,” Lahut and Petrizzo report in an article published on February 6. “Those familiar with the discussions on how to handle Trump’s first 2024 primary opponent see Haley as a weak candidate offering the former president a chance to settle a score, as well as an opportunity to experiment with new tactics.”
According to the Beast reporters, Trump’s campaign views Haley as “a weak opponent he can easily dispense with.”
A source close to Trump, quoted anonymously, told the Beast, “They’ll definitely have a nickname for her. He had a nickname for every one of his opponents in 2016, so that tactic — while some of his tactics have proven to be ineffective or people have learned to deal with him — the naming works.”
A GOP strategist, also interviewed on condition of anonymity, sees Haley as “the Carly Fiorina of 2024” — a reference to the former Hewlett Packard CEO who ran against Trump in 2016’s GOP presidential primary. In 2020, the conservative Fiorina endorsed now-President Joe Biden.
That strategist told the Beast, “Trump will lean in on her past liberal stances on Black Lives Matter, crime, and immigration that are very weak. He will also surely play up her political flip-flops and promising not to run, now that she is jumping in. Basically, he will paint her as just another politician who doesn’t believe anything and only wants power.”
Read The Daily Beast’s full report at this link.