Trump: The Return? (2024) Movie Script

Donald Trump has just won
a sweeping victory in Iowa.
So we're gonna put America first.
We're gonna make America
great again.
Again, Iowa, we love you.
In this, the opening contest
of the US election season,
he has now taken the first step
to winning the Republican Party's
presidential nomination.
ANNOUNCER: How strong that team is.
Making his way into the building.
But can Trump actually win
the White House?
Family members are already
mapping out his second term.
It is scorched earth
when he's back in the White House,
While former Trump insiders are
warning of impending catastrophe.
My message would be:
"Batten down the hatches."
If he won the White House again,
we're at risk of that powder keg
being lit on fire.
At the same time,
President Joe Biden faces a mutiny
in the Midwest.
you can't even put it into words
how betrayed that we actually feel.
We have what we have,
in my opinion, no choices.
I mean, two horrible choices.
It all opens the door
to a Trump return.
No more Democrats!
No more Democrats!
Trump '24, baby.
It's a wrap, y'all.
Adding to the drama of this race,
Donald Trump faces
a legal hurricane.
In the end,
they will fail and we will win
because we will never stop fighting
to save the America we love.
America's fate hangs in the balance.
America will be in peril.
You know, I think
the militia movement will rise.
In ten months, he may be
behind bars or president-elect,
and just possibly both.
Now, the question
the world must ponder is:
Trump - can he return?
America is facing its most
significant election since 1860.
That fateful vote that
brought Abraham Lincoln to power
on the very eve of the Civil War.
This year, Donald Trump
enters the presidential race
ahead in many of the polls,
despite obstacles that would destroy
any other candidate.
Even more extraordinary,
he is campaigning
while challenging America's
very democratic foundations,
still insisting
the last election was stolen.
TRUMP: The radical left Democrats
rigged the presidential election
of 2020.
Three years ago,
I stood at this spot
and heard his words echo
across America.
We fight like hell,
and if you don't fight like hell,
you're not going to have a country
any more.
And I witnessed the consequences.
Trump's political resilience,
his domination
of the Republican Party,
despite that insurrection,
is perhaps the greatest riddle
I have ever encountered.
Even for America's
seasoned political observers,
this story is without precedent.
You know,
this situation is really unique.
Most presidential candidates go away
after being rejected by voters.
Trump is a different case
in this instance.
We've never had a former president
who's been indicted
and certainly never had one indicted
for things he did as president.
We're in completely
uncharted territory.
In theory, we could have a president
serving from prison.
No-one has ever had
the almost cult-like hold
that Trump currently has
on the Republican Party.
# The greatest enemy
Of the United States
# Is the Democrat Party
And those who support it
# Trump Latinos... #
In the suburbs of Miami...
# I got love
For the patriots loving me
# Loving me
MAGA love, MAGA love... #
...the Trump circus has arrived.
# I got love
For the patriots loving me
# Loving me, MAGA love... #
That all-American blend
of political theatre
and patriotic fervour.
# Trump 2024. #
CHANTING: We want Trump!
We want Trump! We want Trump!
And at the heart of it
is the great impresario.
Please help me welcome
everyone's favourite president,
# And I'm proud
To be an American... #
The more his critics
circle around him,
the more defiant the show.
His recent rallies have been dubbed
The Retribution Tour.
They're poisoning the blood
of our country.
That's what they've done.
Featuring rhetoric that critics say
draws on the very language
of fascism.
We will root out
the radical-left thugs
that live like vermin
within the confines of our country.
I am your retribution.
I am your retribution.
But how on earth is such a campaign
going to win over
the centrist voters
who will decide the election?
To glimpse the strategy,
to see if there is method
in the madness,
I am travelling
70 miles north from Miami
to the centre
of the Make America Great movement -
West Palm Beach.
That ultra-wealthy city
in the shadow
of Trump's magnificent beach resort,
# Gonna have to face my demons
# Life of sin and a life of lies. #
In this unremarkable airport hotel,
I have been invited
to witness one of America's
most unlikely political events.
It is known as walkaway -
an attempt to persuade Democrats
to walk away from their party
and join the Trump train.
We're not going to be endorsing
any candidates or anything. Right.
And if anyone does,
they're going to be in trouble.
'Brandon Straka
is the face of the movement.'
I'm walking away,
and I encourage all of you
to do the same.
A former actor turned
pro-Trump social media influencer,
he says minority voters
in particular
are craving for an alternative
to a broken Democratic Party.
We try to reach people
and get them thinking for themselves
and sort of, you know,
turn on a light bulb.
My belief is that
these communities are being used.
They're being lied to,
they're being manipulated,
so I want to help
get people thinking for themselves.
But, as speeches begin,
it becomes clear
this is, in fact, a room packed
with Trump's ultra-loyalists.
Big round of applause for everybody
that put this together,
and for yourselves, for coming out,
for helping the walkaway movement
keep moving.
And on stage, it is not exactly
outreach to moderates.
You have decided to stand up
and say, "To hell with the bullshit"
and get out here and stand strong
because we are Americans
and we have walked away
from the garbage.
Am I right or wrong?
Even the Trump family is here,
railing once more against the elite.
It is scorched earth when he's back
in the White House, folks.
We, the people, run this country,
not them.
And Rudy Giuliani,
the former New York Mayor, is here,
waiting for showtime.
How do I know when to stop?
MAN: Just keep going.
He faces racketeering charges,
to which he has pleaded not guilty.
And last month,
he declared bankruptcy
after he was ordered to pay
a stunning $148 million in damages
for ruining the lives
of two female election workers
that he accused of fraud.
On stage,
he airs wild and unfounded opinions.
You're living in something
closer to a fascist state.
Look at the difference in America
when Donald Trump ran it.
Look at all the people
getting killed now
with Biden running it.
The strategy appears to be one
of constant political provocation.
This is outrage as an art form,
with speakers relishing what
they believe lies ahead in 2024.
So here's another
inconvenient truth.
He's back.
We're gonna blow them
out of the water,
and this time,
how sweet is it going to be
when they say
Donald Trump is president-elect
of the United States of America?
When I meet Rudy Giuliani,
he doesn't hold back
on yet further
unsubstantiated claims.
What can the world expect
of a Donald Trump second term?
The world can expect salvation.
We no longer
have to stop this country
from becoming a socialist,
in large part fascist, country.
Let me be clear -
you're comparing Joe Biden's America
to Stalin's Russia?
Joe Biden is, without any doubt,
working for China and Iran.
He hasn't made one decision in
the interests of the United States.
But there is another element
exciting the Trump troops,
one that resonates
far beyond this hall.
Joe Biden's age.
For Biden is 81, with a gruelling
presidential campaign ahead,
and he could possibly face
another four years in office.
Many people
responding to the polls say,
"Yeah, Biden seems to be too old
to be president.
The, uh...
The-The Southern Hemisphere
had access to changes.
The age question
is not going to go away.
He is the oldest president
in US history.
It wasn't confrontational at all...
WOMAN: Thank you, everybody.
This ends the press conference.
Thanks, everyone.
Thank you.
While Biden has made light of it
and stated that with age
comes more experience,
it is { major concern
for many voters,
including Democrats.
His frailty is being mocked
and mimicked by Trump's surrogates.
It's nice to be here in Vietnam.
But even if Republicans are giddy
at Trump gaining ground
in the polls,
his path to the White House
remains astonishingly complicated.
God bless you for walkaway.
Thank you!
Because Donald Trump
is not just running for president,
but fighting to stay out of jail.
He faces 91 charges
in four separate trials.
TRUMP: 'They can't beat us
at the ballot box,
'so they try and beat us
through the law.'
From racketeering
and hoarding classified documents...
This is a pure witch hunt
for purposes of interfering
with the elections
of the United States of America.
It's totally illegal., perhaps most damningly,
his attempt to overturn
the 2020 election result.
I think that's an of fence
of such seriousness.
It's an of fence
against all the American people.
It's an of fence
against our system of government.
It's an of fence
against our constitution.
Once people digest that fact,
it's gonna have a real impact
on the way he's perceived.
He denies all the charges
brought against him,
but if he is convicted
on any one of them,
he could be imprisoned
even before Election Day.
It is absolutely insane
that we might have a president
who has been convicted of felonies
and is potentially serving time
in prison.
You know the charges.
What are they for?
CHANTING: We love Trump!
We love Trump!
The legal minefield has divided
and inflamed opinion across America.
What Trump tried to do
is suspend that constitution.
Vote for Trump.
You want a man to go to jail
for being innocent?
To some,
it is a foundational principle
that no-one, not even Trump,
is above the law.
He's just somebody
who's taken advantage
of a group of people
who are willing to follow him
to their own demise.
To others, Democrats
have weaponised the justice system
their principal political opponent.
This trial is bullshit
because they're trying
to go after him for no reason.
And it just...
They just trying to start trouble.
Some states,
including Maine and Colorado,
have ruled that Trump's name
should not even appear on the ballot
in his battle for the nomination,
saying it is
a breach of the Constitution
because of his role
in the attempted insurrection
on January the 6th.
But these legal skirmishes
are certain to end up here,
at the US Supreme Court,
where conservative justices
are in a decisive majority.
They will be issuing a decision,
I think quite rapidly,
that will determine
whether Donald Trump can be
on those ballots or not.
But remarkably,
at the heart of the chaos,
Donald Trump
is seeing these legal troubles
as actually part
of his comeback narrative.
He wants the trials televised,
and that infamous police mug shot
has become, in Trump world,
a badge of honour.
And that audacious strategy
appears to be working.
Some polls showing that he has
established the edge over Biden
in many of the key states.
In battleground states -
Nevada, Arizona, Georgia,
Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania -
Trump seems to have a lead in most,
if not all, of those states,
and they likely will be
the decisive states in 2024.
The indictments have appeared
to only boosted his popularity,
at least among the Republican base.
There seems to be a sense
that he is being prosecuted
for being a political candidate,
that it is a "witch hunt",
to use his language.
But a lot of voters
have also suggested
that they are waiting
to form an opinion
to see what the outcomes
of the cases are.
There is one issue, one human drama,
that Donald Trump believes
he can leverage
all the way to the White House.
TRUMP: 'Our country
is being invaded.
'This is an invasion.'
It is the widespread perception
that President Biden's
has lost all control
of America's southern border.
almost three million migrants
entered the US
across this frontier with Mexico
last year alone.
And this constant, desperate flow
allows Donald Trump to claim
that America faces
not just a crisis,
but a national security threat.
Drugs, criminals,
gang members and terrorists
are pouring into our country.
They're running wild
in our Democrat-run cities.
Republican states in the South are
seeking to shift some of the burden
to cities run by Democrats,
so they are bus sing thousands north,
bringing a border crisis into
the Democratic Party's heartlands.
In New York alone,
an estimated 600 migrants every day
are arriving in the city
seeking shelter.
Trump has seized on those fears
of unsafe or illegal immigration,
of unsavoury characters
coming across the border,
and he's made that a central part
of his campaign this year.
And we will begin the largest
domestic deportation operation
in American history.
Biden's administration says,
"No, that's not true.
"The border is closed."
Well, that seems to be gaslighting.
What do we expect to do?
Believe you or our own lying eyes?
And that is another problem
for Joe Biden and his re-election.
In Chicago, over 1,000 miles
from that southern border,
the politics of migration
are turning many Biden loyalists
into furious critics.
No more Democrats!
No more Democrats!
We've been sold out
by the Democrats.
Chicago is
a Democratic Party stronghold,
and yet we find here
a political mutiny is underway.
We will remember you
when it's time to vote.
We won't forget.
We say "enough is enough".
We going red now, baby.
We going red.
Trump '24. It's a wrap, y'all.
Many residents here
feel they are being betrayed
by a president they voted for.
Democrat-controlled Chicago
declared itself a sanctuary city
that would offer help to migrants,
but residents
were not prepared for this.
We are sick and tired.
Look what they're doing to us.
Migrants need housing,
schools and health care,
and locals insist
they're in desperate need
of those same resources.
We were going to have a shelter
at this particular location.
At neighbourhood meetings...
Trump, come in here.
Clean this mess up.
...anger towards city officials
boils over.
Stop depending on the politicians.
And stop voting for the same people
getting the same results.
CHANTING: You work for us!
You work for us! You work for us!
Plans for this migrant camp
have since been put on hold
owing to community opposition.
It seems that Biden's policies have
succeeded only in creating division
between many voters here
and the new arrivals.
Marsha Eaglin runs a charity
that helps to support migrants
in the city.
She is torn on the issue
as she believes sanctuary
is a fundamental American value.
I bring stuff down
and warm blankets,
and I drop it by places
where I know people are living
and they're cold.
What was the number?
It made me cry.
It made me just want to just...
just start hugging everybody
and try and figure out
how I could fit them in my house
or something.
Calvin Klein.
I don't want to blast my state,
I don't want to blast my city,
I don't want
to even blast my country.
What I'm saying is,
"What you're doing is not working."
And I ask myself all the time,
"Who in the heck
are they talking to,
"helping them make these decisions?"
But as a community leader here,
Marsha hears all the time
the frustrations
of her fellow residents.
They're my city dollars
that's being taken
and funded to create this for them.
what about us?
Refund us some of
our city tax dollars that we paid
so that we can fix up our homes.
It is abundantly clear that
President Biden can no longer take
the African-American vote
for granted.
While, yes, I'm a Democrat,
and I voted for Biden,
just like so many people out here,
they're wondering,
"Is that the best thing?"
Do I trust either candidate
at this time? I don't.
I'm going to be
watching this carefully,
and they will have to earn my vote.
I, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr,
do solemnly swear...
In 2020,
Biden won 92% of the Black vote.
Now some polls indicate
that support has fallen sharply,
and up to a quarter
of African-Americans in key states
may vote for Donald Trump.
A startling shift.
It is significant
that the Black vote is fracturing
in a way that we haven't seen
in recent elections,
and it is going to force candidates,
especially Democratic candidates,
to think about
who they're speaking to,
which votes they need to cultivate,
and how they might need
to shift their strategies.
Many people,
African-Americans and others,
do not like what they see.
They don't see much in a way
that has been beneficial to their...
to helping themselves.
Plus, there's some indication,
there's some indication
that Trump's aggressive approach
to issues
tends to resonate
with some blocks of voters.
I am having a tour of Chicago
with one such voter,
who is now a passionate advocate
for Donald Trump.
A lot of Black people
tend to just vote Democrat
instead of looking at policies,
and that is what led
to a lot of these gripes
that they're having now.
24-year-old Zakiya
is a first-time voter here.
She lives near
to one of the many migrant camps
that are spread out across the city.
Trump will say this looks
like a third-world country,
and honestly, I believe it does.
Now a pro-Trump
social media influencer,
she is utterly disillusioned
with President Biden.
You feel like these scenes that
we're witnessing here in Chicago,
you know,
would at least be addressed
if Donald Trump was president.
Absolutely. Absolutely.
Donald Trump said years ago
that he was going to build a wall
around this country
to secure the border,
and that seems like
a thing that's being ignored
by a lot of our politicians.
He has the answers, and I'm sure
people would be much happier
at the City Hall meetings
if Trump was in office.
I think this country is doomed.
You're saying "doomed"?
I think that we have
a senile president
who isn't concerned
about the needs of the citizens
and is doing everything he can
to destroy the country, honestly.
Zakiya has given up
not just on Biden, but on Chicago.
Soon, she is moving to Texas,
a Republican state
that she says aligns more closely
with her very conservative
You've had it with Democrats.
Absolutely, yeah. I'm finished.
I just got of age to vote, honestly,
within the last five years,
and I've already realised that
the way that this city is headed
is not going to be beneficial
for anybody.
Chicago proudly calls itself
a sanctuary city,
but that goodwill
has now reached breaking point here,
and the political implications
for the White House are immense.
The city of Chicago agrees
that the migrant crisis
is putting severe pressure
on limited resources.
Officials pleading
for further support
from the White House.
And Joe Biden also acknowledges
the urgency of the situation
and says he is determined
to address the problem.
But if some
in the Democratic Party strongholds
are turning to Trump,
others, including some Republicans
who know the former president best,
are warning that a second Trump term
would be fatal for the Republic.
After serving in his first term,
after witnessing the man up close
in the Oval Office,
on Air Force One,
in the White House Situation Room,
I can tell you,
if he wins the presidency again,
it's the end
of the American experiment.
Miles Taylor was a senior official
in the first Trump White House.
Appalled by what he witnessed,
he wrote an anonymous article
in The New York Times,
one that became famous
as the political class
tried to guess the author.
Taylor came out of the shadows
and reveals to us the alarming steps
that Trump sought to pursue
while in the Oval Office.
When I was in the administration,
Donald Trump wanted to create
his own mercenary force
in the United States military.
He saw what Vladimir Putin had
with the Wagner Group in Russia,
and he wanted to create
his own version of this.
This is a real story.
Now, we ended up shutting down
those conversations and saying,
"Mr President,
this is not a viable approach.
Guess what I found out?
Is that the year after
I left the administration,
that conversation cropped back up,
and Donald Trump asked
his National Security Council
to look into this idea
of creating a mercenary group
responsible to the president only.
That's what
we're talking about here.
And I don't think in a second term
that those attempts
will be thwarted.
And Trump's plan for a second term
is already
being meticulously prepared.
Behind the scenes,
a sophisticated operation,
codenamed Project 25, is underway.
An attempt to avoid
the dysfunction of the first term
and to concentrate power
among true loyalists.
There are huge stables of people
ready to go
into the federal government
that have been vetted
and demonstrated their loyalty
to Trump and Trump alone.
Former President Trump
and his allies have also set aside
a series of executive orders,
in which they plan to fire
a lot of the civilians that are
working in the federal government.
It would be a shock and awe blitz.
It'll mean in those first few days,
a slew of executive orders
to remake the government,
remake a government
that's more pliable
and put people in place
who are willing to do
what Donald Trump wants.
His is a warning
not just to America,
but to allies around the world,
including Britain.
My message would be:
"Batten down the hatches."
Because you will not be able
to depend on the United States
to be the central pillar
of the Western world order.
It's a very, very grave environment
in the United States
in terms of political violence
and civil instability.
And I think
if he won the White House again,
we're at risk of that powder keg
being lit on fire.
American elections
are decided in the heartland,
in Midwestern states like Michigan.
Trump won here
by a razor-thin margin in 2016,
then Biden did the same in 2020.
And with partisan voters
already committed,
much of this year's campaign
will focus on undecided centrist
and independent voters.
Ah. Hi, everybody.
Very good.
My favourite type of voters -
independent, nonpartisan.
'Everyone in this room
voted for Joe Biden in 2020,
'but none are fixed
in their allegiances."
The importance of independent voters
in the 2024 election is paramount,
because, typically,
a candidate for president cannot win
just based on the support
of his party or her party.
They need to get
non-affiliated independent voters,
and these voters tend to really be
very important in suburban America.
As in every house in this country,
the question of Donald Trump's
suitability for the White House
drives the political conversation.
He's an imbalanced,
unbalanced human being,
and Lord knows what he might do.
He's a narcissist.
But there's still a large number
of people who believe
he's the gift to the world,
so I don't know. I'm afraid.
I'm in disbelief
that he's even on the ballot.
He should not be
anywhere close to an election.
But Joe Biden should draw no solace
from that sentiment.
He is also in deep trouble
with independent voters.
For while Biden receives some credit
for avoiding a recession
and for a growing US economy,
for many, it is simply not enough.
Even though inflation has come down,
people are being stung
by the cost of literally everything
when they go into the stores.
And so, as a consequence,
you know, as the old saying,
"It's the economy, stupid."
We have homelessness
growing in our society,
in the wealthiest nation
in the world.
It's a crisis,
what's happening in this country
in terms of the gap
between those who have affluence
and those who don't.
And that's the thing
I'm most concerned about
on the Democratic side.
Biden's approval ratings across
America have never been lower,
and if Trump wins the White House,
it will be in part
because of deep disillusionment
with the alternative.
We have what we have,
in my opinion, no choices.
I mean, two horrible choices,
in my mind.
And I'm still kind of hopeful
that for some reason or another,
I'm not wishing any harm
to Joe Biden,
but somebody else is able
to take that position
who is more in line
with the values that I hold.
The concern I have personally
is if I do not vote for Joe Biden,
what is that gonna mean
for America
if Donald Trump gets back in?
As far as Biden is concerned,
I think he doesn't stand a chance
in Michigan,
and I base that mostly
on the Arab American population,
the vote,
how they will be voting in 2024.
That Arab American vote
is vitally important.
Michigan is a swing state
with a large Muslim population.
In 2020, nearly 70%
of Muslim Americans voted Democrat.
In Detroit, attending a vigil
for peace amid the Gaza war,
I want to find out if Joe Biden
can still count once more
on these critical voters.
My dear brothers and sisters,
we gather to mourn the loss.
Instead, I discover something
that should alarm and even shock
Biden's campaign advisers.
Sometimes, you can't even
put it into words,
how betrayed that we actually feel.
If you feel anger, feel that anger.
Many here feel profoundly let down
by President Biden's support
for Israeli military action,
and for his refusal
to call for a ceasefire.
In the crowd is Dr Mohammad Alam,
a vocal campaigner for Biden in 2020
within the Muslim community.
And he now makes
a stunning admission to me.
I was the Muslim For Biden
campaign chair,
and today, I denounce Joe Biden.
I will do everything to
make sure he defeated in Michigan
and he will defeated
in the US presidential race.
We, Muslim community, loved him.
And today, what you're seeing,
we are betrayal.
So because of the betrayal,
we are standing firm.
I will vote for a Republican.
It is all the more remarkable
given the alternative
for these voters
is { man who also repeatedly stood
shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.
You have been the greatest friend
that Israel has ever had
in the White House.
And furthermore,
Trump placed travel bans
on many Muslim countries
while in office,
and controversially moved America's
embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
If Donald Trump
is the Republican candidate,
would you vote for him
over Joe Biden?
If he will... I personally, I will.
You would?
Yes, I will.
You would vote for Donald Trump
over Joe Biden?
Yes, I would.
Across this nation,
the conflict in Gaza
is further splintering communities
that are already divided.
For three months now,
we have seen the rupture play out
on American city streets
and on college campuses.
A young generation,
those progressives
forged in the heat
of the Black Lives Matter protests,
are turning
on a Democratic president.
Back in Detroit,
for the first time in my reporting
from a liberal stronghold,
left-leaning voters
are literally queuing up,
asking to be interviewed,
so they can castigate Joe Biden.
Can you imagine voting
for Joe Biden in 20247
Never. Never.
... I don't understand
what kind of human being he is.
I don't.
What's unfolding in front of us
proves to us
that we are dispensable
to our politicians,
and we're here
to let them know that
just as we have become dispensable
to them,
our vote for them
has also become dispensable.
If anything should frighten Biden,
it is this,
a young generation,
impassioned and galvanised,
viewing the Democratic Party
with disdain.
Independent voters,
as well as progressives,
as well as minorities,
as well as young people.
The glue in 2020 was Donald Trump,
for Joe Biden, in his election.
The fear of Donald Trump.
Now, given that the election
is gonna be a referendum on Biden,
it's hard to see that that glue can
really be brought back into place
and to really hold
that coalition together.
Stunned by the anger for Biden
in Detroit,
I travel elsewhere in the Midwest
to meet an old friend.
When I first came to Youngstown
in Ohio,
in the months before
the fateful 2016 election,
it was here that,
for the first time,
I truly realised
that Trump's message
was resonating deeply
with working people.
Geno DiFabio was my guide
back then.
The man I called
the canary in the coal mine...
He told me then,
against the conventional wisdom,
that Trump would win.
I talked to a lot of people,
union guys,
people who would never, ever say
they would vote for a Republican,
and they're all in.
And I really believe
it's gonna be... it's gonna be...
It'll be Earth-shattering
for some people.
But I see it coming.
I see that coming now.
Geno, how are you?
Hey, Robert.
Every four years.
Good to see you again, bud.
Good to see you, too.
How's Youngstown? How's Ohio?
We're still standing.
'Today, Geno is once again clear
'that Donald Trump is heading
for the White House,
'that the cost of living
in Youngstown and across America
'will ensure a Biden defeat.'
So, Geno, you kind of read
the political weather here
better than anybody I know.
What's the feeling
about Biden's America right now?
We're not in a good place.
We really aren't.
We really aren't in a good place
as a country.
For four years, we weren't ignored,
under President Trump.
I mean, real wages went up.
They did.
Jobs were coming back.
Factories were being built,
interest rates were low,
unemployment was low.
Everything was going well.
It seems now that President Biden's
been there a couple of years,
I've struggled
to go to the grocery store.
I have a son,
he's struggling to buy a house
because of the interest rates.
You can't ignore inflation.
And I lay that all on the policies
of this president.
Although elements of the US economy
have improved under Biden,
many Americans say they
do not feel it in their wallets.
Unemployment rates have dropped
below 4% in the United States.
But, you know,
a lot of people don't feel
that they're really prospering
in their jobs.
The court cases,
the 91 criminal charges.
I mean, do you not find them
kind of disturbing?
Doesn't it give you second thoughts
about Donald Trump?
You know, I don't care.
I don't care.
I don't believe any of this is real,
what they're doing to him.
In my mind,
it won't be a convicted felon
or a convicted ex-con
being a president.
It'll be somebody
they try to persecute,
and he'll be a hero
of the people again.
Geno's parting words echo the past.
I think President Trump's
gonna win the election, I really do,
because he really was the only one
looking out for us.
And I heard his message
and I believed him.
He said it in a way
that I believed him,
and I believed him in 2016,
and I believed him in 2020,
and I still believe him today,
seeing what the other side offers.
The momentum he's gaining
across the country,
I think President Trump's
gonna win again.
The polls in recent months
have told us
that things are looking pretty grim
for Joe Biden's re-election,
as things stand now.
But polls have a way
of being subject to change,
and we've seen this happen in
presidential elections in the past.
So, although they look grim now,
they are not necessarily predictive
of what's going to happen
in November 2024.
Central to Donald Trump's
election strategy
is a narrative that portrays
the government not as an ally,
but as a menace and a threat.
For years, he has promoted
the idea of a deep state,
the belief that a cabal
of liberal forces in Washington
is seeking ever more power
at the expense of freedoms
cherished by ordinary Americans.
TRUMP: We will demolish
the deep state.
We've never seen a presidential
candidate embrace conspiracies
and conspiratorial thinking
in the same way
that President Trump has done.
He has made a central part
of his agenda
the concept of a deep state,
the fact that people
are out to get him,
that there is a witch hunt.
After the 2020 presidential vote,
that concept of a deep state
fuel led the unfounded claims
of a stolen election.
TRUMP: Either the deep state
destroys America
or we destroy the deep state.
Now, for this election, there is
an even more provocative narrative
being pushed
by those in Trump's orbit,
one they hope can carry them
to victory.
It paints America as a police state,
which has the benefit
of allowing Trump to project himself
not as a criminal defendant,
but as a victim.
MAN: So, without further ado,
enjoy Police State.
'Battle Hymn Of The Republic'
This film, being screened
at the right-wing think tank The
Heritage Foundation in Washington,
is packaging that wild theory,
popularising the notion
that Biden's administration
has weaponised the FBI
and law enforcement.
Dinesh D'Souza is the movie director
and Trump ally
driving this
controversial narrative.
Who is Dinesh D'Souza?
Are you a provocateur?
Are you a polemicist, a movie maker,
a podcaster, a Trump acolyte?
Who are you?
You know,
it's a little bit hard to say.
I'm an immigrant who is...
who believes in the idea
of American exceptionalism.
I'm merely trying to communicate
complex ideas to people
who are not normally habituated
to hearing about politics.
In his film, there are scenes
portraying God-fearing,
patriotic Americans being arrested
at church and at home.
FBI! We have an arrest warrant!
In the world of Dinesh D'Souza,
America is staring into the abyss.
This idea of waking up America,
you are the kind of, you know,
the fire alarm for America,
in your view.
I don't know a time
other than the Civil war
when basic American liberties
were so threatened.
So, one of the characteristics
of a police state,
mass surveillance, we have that.
Widespread censorship, we have that.
Ideological indoctrination in
schools and the media, we have that.
Criminalisation of political
differences, we have that.
Political prisoners, we have that.
Dinesh, we have independent courts
and a free media.
You seem to be just
brushing over that.
No, I think that they are free
and independent
and ideologically aligned
on one side.
These unsubstantiated narratives
have also reached deep within
the Republican Party,
including with
Trump-supporting lawmakers.
Critics will say this movie and
your views fuel conspiracy theory.
Oh, go ahead
and say whatever you want.
The biggest threat to America
and the American people
are the dishonest media.
What I do know is that these
federal agencies
have been turned on the very people
they're supposed to serve,
the American citizen.
Joe Biden has weaponised
those agencies
to go after the American people.
These accusations
by D'Souza and Trump
are coursing into the mainstream
of American politics.
But academics
and independent observers
say such claims are extreme
and without substantial merit.
President Trump has demonstrated
a real disregard
for the truth and for facts,
and continues to put forth every
conspiracy that is useful to him.
All of this has allowed Trump
to try and discredit
the numerous legal cases
against him.
And it's no coincidence
that the deep state
is coming after me even harder.
I have seen for myself what happens
when wild narratives gain traction.
Stop the steal! Stop the steal!
Stop the steal! Stop the steal!
The attempted insurrection
three years ago
was propelled by unfounded
stolen election claims.
And I've witnessed how conspiracies
have prompted militia groups
to march down American streets.
You're heavily armed
on the streets of an American city.
I wondered who you are.
Not giving it out.
Which militia?
Not giving it out.
Fearing a repeat of January the 6th,
I have come to see
how some Trump supporters,
those heavily armed
and with strong faith,
are preparing
not to initiate violence,
but to be ready
for societal breakdown
if Joe Biden wins in November.
Greg, can I ask you to pray?
Father, we're so grateful that
we could spend some time training.
Father, to protect others.
To protect our nation.
In the name
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Rod of Iron Church
is a Christian evangelical group
where guns and God are weaved
into a fiercely pro-Trump and
anti-government view of the world.
Hey, Pastor Sean, how are you?
Hey, Robert. Nice to see you.
Thank you for letting me
into your compound.
'Pastor Sean is the leader
of this congregation,
'where the AR-15 assault rifle
is seen as a divine instrument
'for defending God-given freedoms.'
What does "Rod of Iron" mean?
It means the modern-day sword,
or the modern-day musket.
It's more important for
the citizens to have these weapons
than the government?
That authority comes from God,
and that ability to defend yourself,
family and your country
from tyrants,
including a runaway government
that has become tyrannical.
That is the God's greatest gift
to humanity,
to preserve freedom and liberty
for all.
It is immediately clear
where political loyalties lie.
"I need one more indictment
to ensure my election.
"One more indictment
to ensure my election.
Probably a couple more.
But the more they indict him,
I think the more popular
he's gonna become.
He's going to become more legendary.
He's gonna become more...
I can't compute that.
You're saying the more he's charged?
More a star. Yeah, more of a star,
because he's being charged unjustly.
I think it's galvanised everybody.
And a lot of folks
from different communities now
are moving towards Trump,
and the support has become greater
because of
the kind of draconian tactics
that the left has done under Biden.
Look at what they're doing.
Look at how hard
they're coming after him.
Four different indictments,
RICO charges.
In weekly sermons that air
on the church's conservative
social media channels...
When you ask them now, the polls,
does the country
feel galvanised, divided?
Yes, everybody says,
"Yeah, it feels divided."
...Pastor Sean talks
of Trump's alleged persecution.
They were trying
to take him off the ballots,
saying he's an insurrectionist.
Like many fringe groups in America,
members here are preparing
for worst-case scenarios.
A recent poll found
that 85% of Americans are worried
about escalating political violence.
If Joe Biden is re-elected...
...what does that mean for America?
I think it means that, you know,
America will be in peril.
That will be a tragic beginning
of a sharp, quick decline
of the world falling into tyranny.
If Trump loses in November
and there is a narrative
on the right
that the election has been stolen,
what happens then, Pastor Sean?
I think the militia movement
will rise.
Counties will build
official militias.
Every year,
this church holds festivals
celebrating their right
to bear arms.
Rod of Iron followers
display their loyalty
to the one man who they believe
stands between them and chaos.
# Truth is marching on... #
He's getting persecuted
for standing up for the people
and not the establishment.
And so, that's why
I think people resonate with him.
If he loses,
people are gonna be praying a lot.
# Truth is marching on. #
Go, Trump! Go, Trump!
Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!
In this dramatic election year,
Americans are bracing
for a bitter political fight
in which the republic itself
may be at stake.
It is clear to me
that the progressive coalition
that elected Biden in 2020
is in danger of collapse.
Trump is seeing his criminal trials
as a political gift,
believing it underpins his image
as a rebel and a martyr.
Much remains unclear.
How will Americans react to
a presidential candidate on trial,
perhaps convicted and jailed?
Does that turn opinion against him
or further his argument?
It leaves Donald Trump
at the centre of the American storm,
a saviour to some,
an existential danger to others.
This country now faces
a profound reckoning.