Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday before a rapt audience that his political consultants had advised him not to criticize transgender athletes as he regaled the crowd with a long transphobic rant.
During his speech at the America First Agenda Summit in Washington, D.C., Trump said: “By the way, we should not allow men to play women’s sports. It’s so disrespectful to women.”
When his comment was met with wild applause, the former president paused for nearly 20 seconds to revel in the attention he was receiving.
“So crazy. It just shows you what all of these political geniuses— I have all of these consultants, all these great, great — ‘Sir, don’t say that it’s very controversial,’” he said.
“I just said it, thought it might be a good time,” Trump quipped, adding that the comment had earned him the “biggest hand” of the evening.
As part of this tirade, Trump referred to Laurel Hubbard’s Olympic barrier-breaking experience and the experiences of Lia Thomas, a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, without directly naming them, Business Insider reports.
Thomas has been nominated for NCAA woman of the year.
At one point in his speech, Trump proclaimed that he “would be the greatest women’s basketball coach in history.”
In a women’s basketball team, Trump imagines LeBron James might transition so he can play for Trump’s team.
“I don’t like LeBron James – I like Michael Jordan much better. But I’d go up to LeBron James … [and] I’d say, ‘LeBron, did you ever have any desire to be a woman?’ Because what I’d love you to do is star on my team that I’m building.”
Additionally, the former president mocked trans weightlifters on Tuesday by pretending to be incapable of lifting any weight.
Trump is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice for his role in the coup attempt on January 6, 2021, as part of the insurrection on the Capitol, the Washington Post reported late Tuesday.