Donald Trump 'Returning to the Scene of the Crime' With D.C. Speech: Acosta

CNN's Jim Acosta suggested Donald Trump making a speech in Washington D.C. is like "returning to the scene of the crime," as the former president was due to appear in the capital for the first time since the January 6 attack.

Trump is set to deliver the closing address at the America First Policy Institute's two-day "America First Agenda" summit on Tuesday, July 26.

The speech at the think tank set up by former officials from the Trump administration, will mark the first time the former president has been in Washington D.C. since he left the White House on January 20, 2021, two weeks after the insurrection.

On Sunday, Acosta repeatedly asked Marc Lotter, chief communications officer of the America First Policy Institute, why it had invited Trump back the capital to give a talk seeing as he "tried to pull off a coup" on January 6 last year.

Donald Trump
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. The event features student activism, leadership training, and a chance to participate in networking events with political leaders. Getty

"He's still the leader of the America First movement," said Lotter, also the former director of strategic communications for Trump's 2020 presidential campaign. "He is the biggest name. He's the visionary behind many of the policies that got him elected to the White House.

"And when you look at what's going on in America right now, so many people are clamoring for that kind of policy leadership back," Lotter added. "They want cheap gas, growing paychecks, soaring stock markets and not what we have right now.

"So, to give voice to that agenda, to lay it out for the congressional midterms and beyond, I think there's nobody better than the former president to be able to do that."

Acosta then suggested that Trump being back in D.C. is like "he's returning to the scene of the crime" because of his actions in and around the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

"He incited an insurrection. I mean, why even bring him to Washington?" Acosta asked.

In response, Lotter reiterated that Trump is "still one of the leaders, if not the biggest name" with regards to "laying out that policy framework" which worked for the Republican party from 2016 to 2020 and "to get back to those winning policies."

Acosta added that Trump may have "eviscerated" his legacy because of the insurrection, before again asking: "Isn't there something just wrong" about the former president returning to D.C. after he tried to "pull off a coup" on January 6.

"Regardless of whether you agree with the former president or any former politician, they hold a certain standing if you want to outline your policy vision," Lotter replied, adding that other presidents do the same thing.

With regard to the upcoming midterms, as well as a potential 2024 presidential run from Trump, Lotter said the country needs to "let the voters decide" and that Trump is still an important figure to "lead that charge" from a policy standpoint.

"The problem is he led the charge on January 6," Acosta replied. "He called insurrectionists off to the Capitol and they defaced, defecated our democracy."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Joni Ernst and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are among those also scheduled to speak at the two-day "America First Agenda" summit, which begins on Monday.

Trump has been contacted for comment.