Trump, in his return to DC, resets 2020 to 2024.

But in a more than 90-minute speech, Trump was unable to resist his pull to 2020 and the past. He took a minute to lie about his defeat almost two years ago.

“I ran for president. I won. Then I won a second time — much better the second time,” Trump said.

He then called out the “previous attacks” against him and the country, from Mueller’s investigation to two impeachment cases. The same is happening with January 6, 2021, he said, as the committee uncovered damning evidence about the actions of the former president and his inner circle surrounding the Capitol attack.

“They want to hurt me so I can’t go back to work for you,” Trump said to chants of “four more years” and a standing ovation. “And I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Trump’s debut in Washington as the former president comes nearly a year and a half after he left the White House in disgrace on Jan. 6 after shocking the nation. As the former president moved closer to announcing a 2024 run, he used the event to expand his administration’s policy from the border to the economy. He then blamed the Biden administration for inflation, high gas prices and what he called a “wide open” southern border.

The former president spent much of his speech on crime and public safety — capitalizing on an issue the GOP has focused on for the past year as the nation faces a spike in shootings and homicides. He paints a dark picture of crime in America by running through a list of brutal murders.

“If we don’t have security, we don’t have freedom. We don’t have a country. America First must mean security,” Trump said. “Starting next year with our new majority in Congress. And continuing under the next Republican president, we need a concerted effort to beat violent crime in America, and beat it hard. And be tough. And be dirty and rude if we have to.”

Trump outlined his view on the crimes of the Republican Party. He spoke about supporting police officers, offering a range of policy ideas – from returning to historically racist policing tactics, to implementing the death penalty for drug dealers, to cities to make room for tents outside to house the homeless. population

“Execute one drug dealer and you save 500 lives,” Trump said.

In the former president’s tough talk on crime, there was no mention of his bipartisan success in getting a long-sought criminal justice reform measure, the First Step Act, passed in 2018. This was seen as a possible shift in GOP hardline. -Crime mentality, rehabilitation and a move towards racial justice. Now in 2022, according to GOP messaging, Trump has turned his attacks on Democratic-led cities, where he claims crime is on the rise.

The speech was somewhat organized at the top, but gradually lost its way toward the middle and end as Trump bounced around topics ranging from immigration to transgender rights and attacking women’s sports.

In response to his remarks, the pro-Trump crowd responded, clapping and cheering. Several allies of the former president were spotted ahead of his speech. Rona McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee; former White House advisers Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway; and former Acting Attorney General Matt Whittaker were among those gathered at the Marriott Marquis.

Trump’s speech also came amid another split-screen moment between him and his former vice president, who also appears poised for a 2024 bid. Mike Pence unveiled his “freedom agenda” at a Young America Foundation signature event on Tuesday, hours before Trump, who he was scheduled to present at the Heritage Foundation on Monday.

Pence continued his tightrope talk about his former boss, saying he and Trump share a similar view of the future of the party and that the conservative movement is not “divided.”

He said he doesn’t necessarily differ on issues with Trump — it’s the “focus” where he sees some space between the two.

“Some people may choose to focus on the past, but the election is about the future,” Pence said, in an apparent criticism of Trump. “And I believe conservatives must focus on the future to win America back.”

Meredith McGrath contributed to this report.