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Swimmer Riley Gaines slams ‘left media’ reports that she recoiled from Trump on stage at CPAC

Swimmer Reilly Gaines decried reports that she dodged a kiss from former president Donald Trump when he greeted her onstage during a Saturday evening speech.

As the incident made its rounds, Gaines took to Instagram to contradict those interpretations, insisting she had only moved her head as she did to better hear what the president was saying to her.

‘Also worth noting that this is a prime example of the left media pushing propaganda to fit their narrative,’ Gaines wrote in a post explaining her position against trans women in swimming was not anti-trans, ‘In no way, shape, or form did I ‘dodge a kiss’ from Trump nor was I uncomfortable on that stage with him at any point in time.’ 

‘I slightly turned my head so I could hear what he was saying to me. Proof that not everything you read is factual. But keep clutching at straws, it’s almost comical.’ 

Trump had asked the 23-year-old former college swimmer to join him while he discussed his intent to ban transgender women from competing in women’s sports while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas. 

Gaines –  who became a face of the campaign against transgender sports when she spoke out after losing the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award to Lia Thomas – consented and climbed on stage. 

An awkward moment appeared to ensure, as Gaines appeared to momentarily flinch away when Trump swooped in to give her a peck on the cheek as she arrived at the podium.

She also stood stiffly to one side while waiting to get up to the microphone.  

Gaines made an Instagram post saying she never recoiled, and that the media was trying to twist the truth to fit their narrative

Gaines made an Instagram post saying she never recoiled, and that the media was trying to twist the truth to fit their narrative

Outlets including Newsweek and Mediaite and users across the internet swooped in to point out what they said was an unmistakable ‘recoil’ from the swimmer

‘At CPAC, Trump brings up the swimmer Riley Gaines and he couldn’t keep his hands off her. Then they both bash the trans community. Creepy stuff,’ one person Tweeted.

Meanwhile, Mediaite ran the headline ‘Trump Invites Swimmer on Stage During CPAC Speech, Who Recoils When Ex-President Goes in for a Kiss’ about the story. 

In March, Gaines tied with transgender athlete Lia Thomas for fifth place in the 200-meter freestyle NCAA championships and has been outspoken on the issue ever since.

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61191359 11092975 image a 22 1659991651554

Before she joined Trump on stage at Saturday’s CPAC event she had spoken about her beliefs about trans-women in women’s sports earlier in the day.

‘Basically, all I want to say is that it takes a brain and common sense and fifth grade biology level understanding to realize that this is blatantly unfair. It’s completely obvious,’ she said.

She briefly reiterated that idea at the podium alongside Trump that evening, saying ‘I’m just gonna say keep female sports female.’   

Trump delivered the final speech of the event. He used it to hit all his favorite targets and prepare the grass roots for November’s midterms, including a call to give more power to parents to decide what their children should be taught.

He said it was time to completely smash the ‘radical left’s corrupt education establishment.’

Donald Trump brought Riley Gaines on stage during a speech to conservatives on Saturday evening. The former college swimmer has spoken of her discomfort at having to get changed with transgender athlete Lia Thomas and said 'keep female sports female'

Donald Trump brought Riley Gaines on stage during a speech to conservatives on Saturday evening. The former college swimmer has spoken of her discomfort at having to get changed with transgender athlete Lia Thomas and said ‘keep female sports female’

Trump closed the conference with a greatest-hits speech on Saturday evening. 'Across the country, we need to implement strict prohibitions on teaching inappropriate racial, sexual and political material to American schoolchildren in any form whatsoever,' he said.

Trump closed the conference with a greatest-hits speech on Saturday evening. ‘Across the country, we need to implement strict prohibitions on teaching inappropriate racial, sexual and political material to American schoolchildren in any form whatsoever,’ he said.

Trump has repeatedly suggested he is preparing to run again but has not yet committed to a campaign. 'We may have to do it again,' he said Saturday to wild applause

Trump has repeatedly suggested he is preparing to run again but has not yet committed to a campaign. ‘We may have to do it again,’ he said Saturday to wild applause

‘What’s more basic than parents rights, especially parents rights over their children? 

‘We’re trying to defend parents rights,’ he said. ‘It’s so crazy. 

‘Across the country, we need to implement strict prohibitions on teaching inappropriate racial, sexual and political material to American schoolchildren in any form whatsoever.

‘And the federal bureaucrats are going to push this radicalism. We should abolish the Department of Education.

‘And we will keep men out of women’s sports.’

His speech was packed with greatest hits – bashing his favorite target House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling for the National Guard to provide law and order in crime-hit cities, and demanding death sentences for drug dealers.

His audience of red-blooded conservatives lapped it up, chanting ‘U.S.A’ as he took the stage.

He slammed Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, saying she had played into China’s hands, allowing it make even more aggressive moves on the autonomous island.

China launched live fire military exercises after Pelosi visited Taiwan in a show of support. 

Trump also blasted Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan in a speech on Saturday evening. 'She fails. The women brings chaos,' he said, saying she had played into China's hands

Trump also blasted Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in a speech on Saturday evening. ‘She fails. The women brings chaos,’ he said, saying she had played into China’s hands

Trump spoke before an audience of supporters on the final evening of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas

Trump spoke before an audience of supporters on the final evening of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas

China launched military exercises close to Taiwan after Pelosi visited last week, the first House speaker to visit in more than 20 years

China launched military exercises close to Taiwan after Pelosi visited last week, the first House speaker to visit in more than 20 years

‘What was she doing? And everything she touches turns to …. ‘ he told an audience of conservatives in Dallas, Texas, who filled in the gap with an expletive.

‘She fails. The women brings chaos,’ he said adding that she had given China the cover it needed to flex their muscles. 

‘She played right into their hands, because now they have an excuse to do whatever they’re doing,’ he said.

‘And I will tell you it would have never ever happened in a million years under Trump, I can tell you.’

Earlier he received a boost when attendees voted him their pick for the 2024 Republican nomination. 

And he described a bleak image of a failing nation as he fired up his base for November’s midterms. 

‘What we do in the next few months and the next few years will determine whether American civilization will collapse or fail, or whether it will triumph and thrive like never before,’ he said.

‘This is no time for complacency. We cannot be complacent. We have to seize this opportunity to deal with the radical left.’

Trump also fired up his base for November's midterms and hinted at a 2024 run

Trump also fired up his base for November’s midterms and hinted at a 2024 run 

He also dangled the possibility that he will run again in 2024.

‘I ran twice. I won twice and did much better the second time than I did the first getting millions and millions of more votes than in 2016 and likewise getting more votes than any sitting president in the history of our country by far.

‘And now we may have to do it again,’ he said to wild whoops of delight.

But first comes November’s midterms

‘To win this November, this election needs to be a national referendum on the horrendous catastrophes the radical Democrats have inflicted on our country,’ he said. 

‘The Republican Party needs to campaign on a clear pledge that if they are given power … they have to shut down the border, stop the crime wave beat inflation and hold the Biden administration accountable. They have to hold it accountable.’

Some of the biggest applause lines were related to law and order.

‘We need to return to the tried and true strategy of a thing called stop and frisk,’ he said.

‘We have to take the guns away from people that are criminals. Instead of taking guns away from law abiding Americans let’s take them away from the violent felons and career criminals for a change.’

He was among friends at a conference run by his close allies and filled with merchandise bearing his likeness or slogans. 

He described the attendees as ‘the beating heart of the conservative movement.’

And he thanks them for delivering a straw poll win, that showed the majority of attendees wanted him to have the 2024 Republican nomination.

‘And I guess we had 69%, and 99% approval, why couldn’t I get 100? Why 99,’ he joked.

‘What was the last time somebody had a 99% approval, that’s pretty good, thank you everybody.’

The CPAC straw poll showed Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll

The CPAC straw poll showed Trump strengthening his grip on the conservative grass roots. He increased his lead over second place DeSantis to 45 points since the last poll

If the merch is a measure, CPAC attendees are four square behind Trump

If the merch is a measure, CPAC attendees are four square behind Trump

Trump cutouts are used to sell conservative cellphone plans at CPAC Texas in Dallas

Trump cutouts are used to sell conservative cellphone plans at CPAC Texas in Dallas

Britain's Nigel Farage said Trump had lost 20lb and looked like he had lost the weight of the world from his shoulders. I believe Donald Trump is the man to go out there and fight on behalf of America and the Western world,' he told an enthusiastic CPAC crowd

Britain’s Nigel Farage said Trump had lost 20lb and looked like he had lost the weight of the world from his shoulders. I believe Donald Trump is the man to go out there and fight on behalf of America and the Western world,’ he told an enthusiastic CPAC crowd

It was no surprise that he won the poll among a crowd of his supporters.  

But it showed that the former president had increased his lead over nearest rival Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, since a similar poll was last conducted in February. 

‘So you know how the mainstream media has been telling us his you know, influence in the party is waning,’ said pollster Jim McLaughlin as he unveiled the poll. ‘Not at all. 

‘As a matter of fact, what’s happening is he’s more popular than ever.’

A day earlier he held a rally in Wisconsin where he claimed he was one of the most persecuted people in history. 

‘We are standing up against some of the most menacing forces, entrenched interests, and vicious opponents our people have ever seen,’ he told supporters in Waukesha 

‘A friend of mine recently said that I was the most persecuted person in the history of our country. When I thought about it, I actually felt that he may very well be right.’

Trump cited the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian collusion as evidence and added: ‘This could only happen to me. Who has been through anything like this? Seriously?’

Former President Donald Trump proclaimed himself the most persecuted person in American history at a Wisconsin rally on Friday

Former President Donald Trump proclaimed himself the most persecuted person in American history at a Wisconsin rally on Friday

He said that all he would have to do to make the persecution end was to ‘renounce my beliefs, if I agreed to stay silent, if I stayed home or if I stayed in my basement like Joe Biden did’.

However, he pledged to continue fighting for his supporters: ‘That’s what they want me to do and it would all be very nice. I’d have a very nice life. But I can’t do that and I will not do that because I love our country and the people of our country. 

‘I love them so much. And I’m not doing this for me because I had a very good in luxurious life before entering the wonderful world of politics. I’m doing this for you and it’s my honor to do it.’ 

Speaking at the CPAC conference, his former strategist Steve Bannon said the legal battles were all part of the Democrats’ strategy. 

‘They understand they can’t beat him at the ballot box,’ he said.

‘They can’t beat his energy. They can’t beat his vision. 

‘They’re coming after him with  death by 1000 cuts legally.

‘They’re trying to put him in jail to make sure he cannot run again in 2024 and be the rightful president he should be right now.

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