8 historical figures Trump has invoked over the years

8 historical figures Trump has invoked over the years

Former President Trump has invoked various historical figures when railing against his legal opponents and perceived political rivals, including most recently arguing Mother Teresa could not defeat charges he faces in his New York hush money trial.

Trump has often pointed to notable figures from history to also tout his popularity on the campaign trail, and he has compared himself to several former presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, when discussing his accomplishments and policies.

Here are some of the top historical figures he and allies have invoked over the years.

Mother Teresa

Trump spoke to reporters moments after the jury in his New York hush money case began deliberations this week and invoked Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun who dedicated her life to charitable causes.

Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace prize winning nun, is with New York’s Governor Hugh Carey, rear left, and his wife Evangeline Gouletais, right, during a luncheon ceremony at the New York Foundling Hospital on June 24, 1981. Mother Teresa was presented with the hospital’s Elizabeth Seton Humanitarian Award for her contributions to the field of child care.

“Mother Teresa could not beat these charges. These charges are rigged. The whole country’s a mess, between the borders and fake elections, and you have a trial like this where the judge is so conflicted he can’t breathe,” Trump said.

The former president faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in the New York case where jurors are in their second day of deliberations. In total, Trump faces 88 criminal charges across four cases, including the one in Manhattan.

Trump has often complained that the cases brought against him are unfair and politically motivated. He has denied any wrongdoing, but has repeatedly labeled his legal woes as part of a “rigged” system.

Al Capone

Trump has repeatedly mentioned Al Capone in his rallies, noting he has been indicted more times than the famous Chicago mob boss.

“Did anybody ever hear of the great Alphonse Capone, Al Capone, great, great head of the mafia, right? Mean, Scarface. He had a scar that went from here to here, and he didn’t mind at all. But he was a rough guy,” Trump said to a crowd of supporters last December.

“Now, I heard he was indicted once — a couple of people told me a few times more — but I was indicted four times,” Trump added, noting Capone was a “dangerous” man.

Jesus Christ

The former president said in 2020 that the only person more famous than him was Jesus Christ.

“Someone said to me the other day, ‘You’re the most famous person in the world by far.’ I said, ‘no, I’m not.’ … They said, ‘who’s more famous?’ I said, ‘Jesus Christ,'” Trump said at the time.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also compared Trump to Jesus last year amid the former president’s arraignment in the New York hush money case, prompting “Saturday Night Live” to poke fun at the comparison.

Ronald Reagan

Trump invoked former President Ronald Reagan in a 2015 interview with then-CNN anchor Don Lemon when discussing he was at one point a registered Democrat, like Reagan.

“If you look at Ronald Reagan, and he was a Democrat, he was actually, Don, he was a Democrat with a very liberal, or at least a pretty liberal bent, and he became a Republican with a somewhat conservative — I wouldn’t say very, but he was a conservative Republican,” Trump said at the time.

“Over the years, as Ronald Reagan changed, I also changed,” he added.

Some members of Reagan’s family have sought to distance themselves from Trump and other Republicans, with his daughter Patti Davis saying earlier this year that the late president would likely not be in today’s GOP.

Winston Churchill

The Trump White House compared Trump’s 2020 photoshoot in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s trip to look at World War II bombing damage in 1941.

“Through all of time, we have seen presidents and leaders across the world who have had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time to show a message of resilience and determination,” then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.

“Like Churchill, we saw him inspecting the bombing damage. It sent a powerful message of leadership to the British people,” she added.

Abraham Lincoln

Trump has compared himself to former President Abraham Lincoln multiple times, claiming he has done more for the Black community than any president since Lincoln.

“I’ve done more for Black Americans than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Nobody has even been close,” Trump said in 2020.

He also mentioned Lincoln in a 2017 rally, saying that “with the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”

Trump suggested earlier this year that he has been treated worse than any other president in history.

Elvis Presley

The former president said he felt like rock star Elvis Presley after his song with a group of men convicted for the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol topped the music charts last year.

“On iTunes and on Amazon and on Billboard, which is the big deal, number one. Donald Trump,” he said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last year. “So now I feel like Elvis.”

Nelson Mandela

Trump has invoked anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela numerous times amid his ongoing legal woes, suggesting at some points he may go to prison like the former South African president.

“I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela because I’m doing it for a reason,” Trump said at a New Hampshire campaign event last year. ”We’ve got to save our country from these fascists, these lunatics that we’re dealing with. They’re horrible people and they’re destroying our country.”

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, spent 27 years in prison for opposing the apartheid system in South Africa. In a Truth Social post earlier this year, Trump said it would be a “great honor” to be jailed over violating a gag order in his hush money case, saying he would “gladly become a modern day Nelson Mandela.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.