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Clyburn slams Trump over Gestapo comments: ‘Unbelievable but not surprising’

Senior congressional Democrat James Clyburn has responded to comments made by Donald Trump at a private event Saturday in which he compared the Biden administration to the Gestapo secret police in fascist Germany, saying it was “incredible but not surprising.”

The 83-year-old South Carolina Democrat added that Trump “has a tendency to exaggerate on every subject he ever approaches… The country got off track after the 1876 election and we are approaching the same kinds of elements today.”

The 1876 election between Republican Ohio Governor Rutherford Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden was one of the most controversial elections ever, with widespread accusations of election fraud, violence, and disenfranchisement.

Clyburn accused Trump of having “an understanding of this country that I thought we left behind more than 100 years ago. But as I watch things unfold in the country today, I have been thinking for some time about the presidential election of 1876, and how this country went off track after the Civil War.

“The words are different. But the meanings are the same,” Clyburn added.

On Saturday, the former president hosted a private lunch for Republican donors and party leaders at his Mar-a-Lago club. The fundraiser also included many of those believed to be on his list for a running mate, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who has been politically damaged by her memoir’s admission that she kept a 14-month-old hunting dog for 20 years. old had. shot. past. She reportedly left the event early.

Others at the lunch included the governor of North Dakota Doug BurgumSenator JD Vance of Ohio, Congressman Elise Stefanik of New York, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Congressman Byron Donalds.

According to CNN, Trump selected both Stefanik, who he described as “an amazing talent,” and Marco Rubio. NBC reported that Trump brought all the guests on stage — except Noem — including House Speaker Mike Johnson.

But during a speech that lasted more than an hour, Trump compared the Biden administration to Hitler’s feared secret police. “These people are running a Gestapo administration,” Trump said, according to NBC News. ‘It’s the only thing they have. And they think this is the only way they can win.”

Republican Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, essentially confirmed Trump’s statement but tried to downplay its significance.

“This was a quick comment that addressed something that wasn’t really central to what he was talking about,” said Burgum, one of the contenders to become Trump’s running mate.

Burgum confirmed that Trump drew the parallel as part of his accusation that the Biden White House is behind his legal troubles. “A majority of Americans,” Burgum said, “believe that the process he is currently in is politically motivated.”

Trump is due back in court on Monday in Manhattan, where he faces 34 charges of first-degree falsification of corporate records in connection with hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.