SELMA, North Carolina — Donald Trump addressed some 17,500 supporters in a nighttime rally in rural North Dakota, accusing rival Hillary Clinton of “perjury” regarding her email server, and promising to boost military spending in a Trump administration.
The event began with a presentation honoring Medal of Honor winners and retired generals and admirals. They remained onstage as Trump spoke.
He sounded a humble note as he praised one of the veterans: “I couldn’t have done what he did. I’m brave in other ways. I’m financially brave. Big deal,” Trump said.
He mocked the idea of Hillary Clinton as commander-in-chief.
“And to think of Hillary being their boss? And you know they’re incredible patriots. They’d never say a thing. But I know what they’re thinking.”
Trump promised to expand military spending in all branches of the armed forces, including the US. Marine Corps, which he promised to expand from 27 to 36 battalions. He also and mentioned nearby Fort Bragg several times, to cheers from the audience. He also referred to many other bases in the state.
As he has done at several recent rallies, Trump offered the audience the most recent update on Hillary Clinton’s various scandals. He said that new emails discovered by the FBI are evidence that Hillary Clinton committed “perjury.”
In response to calls of “Benghazi!” from the crowd, Trump said: “A Trump administration will leave no man and no woman behind.”
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) November 4, 2016
He slammed President Barack Obama — whom he called the “campaigner-in-chief” — for campaigning with someone who is under criminal investigation by the FBI.
And Trump slammed Obamacare, promising to repeal and replace the ailing policy.
“95 of 100 North Carolina counties will have only one insurer on the Obamacare exchange,” he warned. He added: “But it doesn’t matter. When I win, we’re terminating it.”
He also name-checked Wisconsin, possibly with the likelihood of having his remarks noticed there, where he is running just a few points behind Clinton.
The crowd was massive, and enthusiastic, with children perched on parents’ shoulders.
There was also a sea of signs — some familiar from the campaign trail, some homemade.
As he does at many rallies, Trump blasted the “dishonest” media, and challenged them to show the size of the crowd at the rally.
David Butler of Raleigh, North Carolina, told Breitbart News that he had driven to the rally because he was excited to be part of history. “I want to be part of the movement that changes America. By being here, I’m supporting the man who’s going to be the next President of the United States.”
North Carolina is on the front lines of the battle for votes. Hilary Clinton addressed a rally in Raleigh, and the two candidates’ aircrafts were briefly at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport at the same time.
This post has been updated to reflect confirmed attendance figures.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.