Former President Donald Trump was in Fayetteville on Saturday, speaking at the celebration of life ceremony for Lynette Hardaway – also known as Diamond from the political commentary group Diamond and Silk.
Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects to Hardaway – with those who loved her remembering her as “a jewel, a strong voice and a patriot.”
Sisters Diamond and Silk rose to fame in 2016 with videos on social media supporting Trump, who was then president.
He often shared their videos and invited them to the White House, and they campaigned for him in 2020.
Trump shares memories of Hardaway, speaks on 2024 campaign
Trump came onto the stage to cheers of “USA USA.” He spoke at length about his memories of Hardaway.
“She was a great passionate woman, with a great, big beautiful brain,” he said. “The world has lost one of its brightest stars.”
Trump also used the celebration of life to talk about his political plans to take back the White House. He discussed issues like open borders, saying that 15 million people had been let into the country during the Biden administration.
“We had the safest border in our history, now I would say we have the most unsafe in the history of the world,” he said.
He also attacked the inflation that has gone up during Biden’s presidency, saying gas had increased from $1.87 to over $5 a gallon.
“Inflation is a death sentence to the country,” he said. “America has declined. It’s a nation in decline.”
But Trump made a promise to “straighten it out.”
He attributed some of his success to Diamond and Silk’s work – and said he needs to win the presidency in 2024 by enough votes that “the election can’t be stolen from him.”
Trump hinted at an endorsement for Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson in the 2024 governor’s race
Local leaders praise Diamond’s work, son honors her memory
Robinson, also in attendance, praised Diamond, saying, “Her voice will live forever.”
He described her as “North Carolina in all its best forms.”
During the ceremony, Pastor Mark Burns commented that Diamond is surely in heaven, asking God to make sure Trump would be the next president.
Hardaway’s son Paris also spoke on behalf of his mother, saying, “My mother was a true patriot for her country.”
He praised her for raising him as a single mother and for making him so proud. His words were full of emotion.
“There’s an emptiness in my heart. I can’t describe it,” he said.
Paris also thanked Trump for giving his aunt and his mother the opportunity to shine their light on the world.
Community comes out to say goodbye
People who came out for the ceremony say they felt they needed to say goodbye.
“They’re just great people. So when she passed away I thought, I needed to come and nicely say goodbye,” shared Bernadette Ingemann, a Charlotte resident.