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A private jet carrying the former president of the United States and his team made an emergency landing in New Orleans shortly after taking off from the city.
Over the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday night, a plane was reported to have suffered an engine failure. At approximately 11 p.m., Donald Trump had just finished speaking at the spring donor meeting of the Republican National Committee in New Orleans, and shortly thereafter, the plane departed to take him home to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
The plane had traveled around 75 miles, reaching an altitude of about 28,000 feet, before being forced to turn around after one of its engines failed, reported the Washington Post and Politico.
The private plane, a Dassault Falcon 900, also had secret service members on board, along with other staff and Trump advisers.
Once Trump was back on the ground, the RNC reportedly found the former president another plane that belonged to a donor for him to use to get back to Mar-a-Lago. The former president landed in Florida around 3 a.m.
Hours earlier Trump had given a wide-ranging speech, where he spoke on a range of topics as he struck an aggressive tone on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
‘At what point, do we cannot take this massive crime against humanity?’ Trump asked. ‘We can’t let it happen. We can’t let it continue to happen.’
He jokingly suggested the U.S. should ‘bomb the s**t out of Russia’ with planes bearing the Chinese flag, leading conflict between the two allies while the U.S. would ‘sit back and watch.’
Trump also went after NATO, calling it a ‘paper tiger’ and said the US cannot just stand by while Ukraine is invaded, according to Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey, who obtained a recording of Trump’s remarks.
During his presidency, Trump had reportedly said multiple times that he wanted to pull the United States out of NATO, a move that aides scrambled to counter.
Trump also went after some of his foes by name during the address, calling Rep. Adam Schiff ‘watermelon head’ and George Conway a ‘son of a b***h.’
Former Vice President Mike Pence also gave an address at the spring meeting, after recent friction between him and Trump over the 2020 election. It’s not clear if the pair spoke.