Thousands Turn Out to Hear Trump Rant About Whales and Hannibal Lecter

Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters
Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Former President Donald Trump put himself on shuffle and played the hits Saturday night at his rally in Wildwood, New Jersey.

The MAGA shindig along the beach drew a crowd estimated to be between 80,000 and 100,000 people, according to a spokesperson for the city. But if they were hoping to hear any new ideas, they were out of luck.

Careening from tangent to tangent, Trump went from praising “the late great Hannibal Lecter” to falsely claiming offshore windmills are slaughtering whales.

Silence of the Lambs. Has anyone ever seen The Silence of the Lambs?” Trump said. “The late, great Hannibal Lecter is a wonderful man. He often times would have a friend for dinner. Remember the last scene? ‘Excuse me. I’m about to have a friend for dinner,’ as this poor doctor walked by. ‘I’m about to have a friend for dinner.’ But Hannibal Lecter. Congratulations. The late, great Hannibal Lecter,” he said, apparently rooting for the villain played by Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 film.

Trump used the Hannibal Lecter riff to compare undocumented immigrants to cannibals, saying “they’re destroying our country.”

Later on, Trump did his usual schtick about windmills “killing all the birds,” while also doubling down on a previous false claim that offshore ones are killing whales.

One notable tidbit from the early speaker portion of the rally was North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaking second-to-last, telling the crowd he flew in with the former president on his plane. Burgum has gone from a favorite to get a cabinet position to a genuine contender for Trump’s VP pick, as previously reported by The Daily Beast.

“You won’t find anybody better than this gentleman… Get ready for something, just get ready,” Trump said of Burgum.

Otherwise, there was not much new at Trump’s first rally since a pair of stops in Michigan and Wisconsin on May 1.

Trump falsely claimed his 2017 tax cuts brought in more revenue to the federal government—when they actually grew the deficit—and promised an unspecified tax cut for “lower class,” “upper class,” and “business class” Americans.

He offered a more forceful endorsement of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, firming up his support for President Benjamin Netanyahu after complaining the Israeli military’s killing of civilians amounted to bad optics.

“I support Israel’s right to win its war on terror,” Trump said. "I don’t know if that’s good or bad politically. I don’t care. You’ve got to do what’s right.”

Trump also wished a happy Mother’s Day to his wife, Melania, who was not in attendance.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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