GRIMES — Former President Donald Trump says there’s no way he could lose Iowa in 2024.

“We’re going to win,” Trump said. “We’re going to win big. We’re going to win bigger than ever before.”

Trump made a campaign swing through the state Thursday. It included a stop in Grimes at a training session for campaign volunteers. Trump suggested there’s a correlation between his popularity and his legal woes.

“Every time I go high I get further attacked by the DOJ, the FBI. I’ve got to keep my poll numbers down, they’ll leave us alone,” Trump said. “If we were ever losing, they’d leave us alone. It’s called election interference. They do it at a level that we’ve never seen anything like it in this country. It’s a disgrace.”

Trump took questions from the crowds at events on Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon, suggesting it was a contrast with the events challenger Ron DeSantis had in Iowa this week. “It is nice to come here and speak without notes, without anything, just come up and speak from the heart and from the brain,” Trump said, without mentioning DeSantis by name, but referring to him at one point as “number two.”

Trump’s appearance comes as the GOP presidential field is expanding. North Dakota’s governor, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Trump’s own vice president Mike Pence are set to enter the race next week.

“People coming into the race. You know they’re polling at 1%, 2%. I don’t know what they’re doing. They must know something…but I know actually some of them are pretty stupid,” Trump said. “…They’re running for VP and cabinet. Maybe they are, but some of them won’t happen, I can tell you.”

A woman in the crowd asked Trump what he’d do differently if another virus emerges and she told Trump people had died because he supported “the jab.” That’s a reference the COVID vaccine, which Trump said everybody wanted back at the start of the pandemic in 2020. “A big portion of the country thinks that was a great thing, you understand that,” Trump said, “(but) not a lot of the people in this room.”

Trump, seeking a rematch against President Joe Biden in 2024, was told by someone in the crowd that Biden fell on stage at the Air Force Academy yesterday (Thursday). The 76 year old Trump said he hoped the 80 year old president wasn’t hurt, then Trump ridiculed the media for focusing on his own gingerly walk down what he described as a slick ramp at West Point rather than the speech he gave that day.