Donald Trump has told a North Carolina crowd that he invented the Air Force, during a rambling speech at his latest campaign rally on Tuesday.
He also spoke about appointing “pro-crime” judges and deliberately mispronounced Kamala Harris’s first name several times to widespread boos.
The rally, a crowded outdoor affair which saw many people declining to wear masks, saw Mr Trump reel off a list of his achievements, some of which were misrepresented or false – and others of which he mangled while speaking.
“A lot of you were at previous rallies,” he said, “you never heard me talking about Space Force. We built a new, think of it, a new branch of the United States military, United States armed forces, called Air Force. I never talked about that, that’s something we never talked about, I only figured that one out after I became president.”
Mr Trump did not invent the Air Force.
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Elsewhere, he complained about getting even worse press coverage than Abraham Lincoln, claimed the Mexican border wall will be finished “soon” even though only 300 miles of it are in place, and falsely claimed that Joe Biden and the Democrats “want to take away your second amendment”.
During an extended riff on the theme of rising crime, he said he would be appointing “very pro-crime judges” and segued into a renewed threat that the Democratic agenda included “destroying the suburbs” by allowing low-income housing to be built in affluent areas.
Mr Trump’s rally took him to Winston-Salem, a major population centre in one of the election’s crucial swing states. If Joe Biden drags North Carolina away from the president, he will only need to hold Hillary Clinton’s states and capture one or two other good-sized swing states – a feat that most polls show is well within his reach.
North Carolina is currently considered a toss-up, some recent polls giving Mr Biden an edge of one or two points. The state has now begun voting, with many mail-in ballots already accepted. Around 10 per cent of voters have requested them, and so far, registered Democrats have requested more than Republicans and Independents put together.