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Trump discusses campaign strategy, policies in exclusive RJ interview

Updated June 10, 2024 - 11:36 am

Former President Donald Trump agrees with Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo’s goal of opening up more federal lands for housing in Nevada.

The 2024 presidential candidate said he spoke with Nevada’s governor about housing and said he agrees with Lombardo, who has pushed President Joe Biden to release more of Nevada’s federally owned land to make way for more housing developments.

“We have to create a big incentive for housing so that we have housing,” Trump said Sunday during an about five-minute interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The housing prices, they’re just unaffordable for anybody. That’s why you have so many people, I mean, they’re living in the streets. They don’t have the money and the interest rates are way too high.”

Lombardo said in a Sunday statement that “it’s nice to know President Trump will release more land for attainable housing and work to address Nevadans’ needs.”

Trump visited Nevada for a rally at Sunset Park two days before Tuesday’s primary election, where key state and federal races are on the ballot. He had only endorsed former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee in his congressional bid, though late Sunday evening he endorsed Brown in the Senate primary.

Trump on elections

When Trump was asked if he is encouraging Nevadans to vote early and through mail — a popular method of voting in Nevada that is also center stage in claims of election insecurities — the former president said Nevadans can vote “any way they want.”

The former president, who has long touted unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, reiterated those claims Sunday and said Lombardo is working to make sure the election in Nevada is secure.

“But if the vote’s secure, we’re going to win Nevada by a lot, and if we win Nevada, we win the whole thing,” Trump said.

The GOP front-runner said he believes he will win big in Nevada in November, and praised Republicans Lombardo and Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony, as well as Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford.

“To protect the integrity of our elections and ensure confidence in our electoral process, my administration will ensure that the letter of our elections law is followed this November,” Lombardo said in a Sunday statement.

Nevada, a battleground state that is expected to play a decisive role in determining who the next president is, went to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, when Biden won the Silver State by more than 30,000 votes.

“I actually thought I won twice, and some bad things happened and you had a Democrat governor,” Trump said. “And I really believe that bad things happened. … I really think we did incredibly, and we, somehow the vote wasn’t there. But I believe we won very strongly, by a lot.”

Trump’s vice presidential pick?

Trump also described what qualities he is looking for in a vice presidential candidate. He said he has an obligation to pick a vice president who can become president in case something would happen.

“I think it’s very important that if something should happen where the vice president has to kick into gear, we want to make sure we have a great one,” he said. When asked if someone in particular fits his bill of a good vice president, he did not answer, saying there are a lot of options.

“It’s a very tough decision, but I’ll be making it pretty soon.”

His campaign recently sent vetting paperwork to several potential vice presidential picks, including Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

‘Rigged’ trial

Trump’s visit came just over a week after a Manhattan jury determined he was guilty of 34 felony counts related to falsifying business records.

He called the case “rigged” and accused Biden of weaponizing the U.S. Justice Department. He said the verdict had the opposite effect, and he raised “more money than any campaign has ever raised in a short period of time.”

Israel-Hamas war

When asked how his policy on Israel differs from that of Biden’s, Trump said he’s been very pro-Israel and that we have to get back the hostages who were taken on Oct. 7 in Israel.

“I’m afraid that, really, those hostages will never be seen again,” Trump said.

Oct. 1 shooting

Las Vegas is the site of the deadliest mass shooting in the country that occurred on Oct. 1, 2017, and killed 60 people. When asked what policies Trump could put in place to prevent a similar occurrence, Trump said Lombardo has policies in place, although he did not elaborate on what kind of policies.

“We have to protect our Second Amendment. … It’s so important that we protect it,” Trump said.

The Review-Journal has asked Biden’s campaign for a one-on-one interview with the president next time he’s in Las Vegas.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Miriam Adelson, who has said she plans to donate to Preserve America, a super PAC supporting Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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