Trump Says It’s ‘Ridiculous’ He ‘Had to Leave’ White House

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Fresh off a historic victory in the Iowa caucuses, former President Donald Trump traveled to New Hampshire and complained to his supporters that he had to leave the White House after losing the 2020 election. 

Fans had lined up for hours outside in the snow for a chance to see the presumptive Republican nominee in person — excited over his Iowa win, appearing confident he will once again be president. 

During his speech, Trump said it “was ridiculous that we had to leave, but we had to leave, we have to follow the laws of our land.” He quickly doubled down on his 2020 election lies: “They don’t investigate the people that cheated in the election. They investigate the people that understand they cheated and go after them. But they don’t investigate the people who cheated like hell. We have to have fair and free elections.”

Of course, Trump is being prosecuted for attempting to rig the 2020 election and overturn the results in key swing states — and as Rolling Stone has reported, he and his allies are working diligently to predetermine the results of the 2024 election and make sure they favor Trump. 

Trump’s win in New Hampshire during the 2016 Republican primary helped set his path to the nomination. This time, Trump is already the party’s standard-bearer — a fact made abundantly clear after he won the Iowa caucuses by nearly 30 points, despite barely campaigning there. 

Trump spoke Tuesday at the Atkinson Resort & Country Club in southern New Hampshire. Dozens of Trump supporters stood outside the venue for hours Tuesday as heavy snow fell, leaving thick ice on attendees’ cars. A very MAGA crowd filled a large, packed ballroom, where attendees patiently waited several more hours for Trump to arrive and take the stage.

During his speech, Trump expressed confidence he’ll win New Hampshire next week, but he called on his supporters to help him build a significant margin of victory. “We have to show margins like never before, which is what happened last night,” he said.

Shortly after beginning his speech, Trump brought out his former GOP challenger Vivek Ramaswamy, who endorsed the former president after placing fourth in Iowa Monday. (Just two days ago, Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform: “Vivek is not MAGA.”)

“We are in the middle of a war in this country,” said Ramaswamy. “It’s not a war between Black and white, it’s not between Democrat and Republican, but in a deeper sense — between the permanent state and the everyday citizen, between those of us who love the United States of America, and a fringe minority who hates this country and what we stand for. And right now we need a commander in chief who will lead us to victory in this war.”

Several Trump supporters spoke with Rolling Stone as they waited outside in the snow before the event began.

“I knew he’d win [Iowa]. It was a no-brainer. He just makes so much sense,” Bridget Trepsas, 75, who lives in nearby Salem, tells Rolling Stone. Standing underneath an umbrella, Trepsas says she’s “in love with Trump” because “he doesn’t pull any punches. He says it like it is. And when he’s talking to the people, it’s like he’s talking to me.”

“He’s a family man,” Jerry Bolduc says about Trump. “He believes in God and in America first. And that’s what I’m all about.” He suggested reporters should not be neutral political observers: “Pretty soon, you’re gonna have to either pick one side or the other. It’s eat or be eaten. That’s what it’s about, dude.”

Chau Kelley, who was holding a red “Vietnamese Americans for Trump” banner, says she came to “show support to President Trump with all the persecution they’ve been doing.” (She did not specify what “persecution” was taking place or by whom.) Kelley says she came to the U.S. as a political refugee and worries it’s turning into “a communist hellhole” like Vietnam.

While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finished second in Iowa, New Hampshire is considered fertile ground for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. Though Trump still leads in polls of the Granite State, Haley has been gaining on him. 

“Nikki Haley is counting on the Democrats and liberals to infiltrate your Republican primary,” Trump warned during his speech Tuesday, adding it is “artificially boosting her numbers here.” 

In recent weeks, Trump and his allies have blanketed the state with negative TV ads attacking Haley. The Trump campaign has been running ads highlighting Haley’s promises to cut Social Security benefits — a position that is popular with donors, but not with voters. (As Democrats have pointed out, Trump pushed for Social Security cuts as president.) 

During his speech Tuesday, Trump said that Haley “has a hit on Social Security and she wants to raise the age very substantially… We don’t have to do that for our seniors. You earned it.”


The pro-Trump super PAC Make America Great Again Inc. has been running ads in New Hampshire attacking Haley on immigration, using language similar to the Adolf Hitler-like “poisoning the blood” rhetoric Trump has employed on the campaign trail. 

Trump is scheduled to host another rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Wednesday. The New Hampshire primary will take place on Jan. 23. 

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