Trump to rally faithful in Arizona
https://str.sg/wQMcFLORENCE, Arizona (AFP) - Thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered in a field in Arizona on Saturday (Jan 15) ahead of a rally where he is expected to repeat his unfounded claims that the US presidential election was stolen from him.
Some of the faithful arrived in the area days in advance from as far away as Florida or Texas, with the first person joining the line at 10pm Friday.Flags proclaiming"Trump 2020" and"Trump 2024" fluttered in the desert wind, as chants of"Let's Go, Brandon" erupted from good-natured supporters, many of whom were in a party mood.Read more: ST Foreign Desk »
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Copy to clipboard https://str.sg/wQMc FLORENCE, Arizona (AFP) - Thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered in a field in Arizona on Saturday (Jan 15) ahead of a rally where he is expected to repeat his unfounded claims that the US presidential election was stolen from him. Some of the faithful arrived in the area days in advance from as far away as Florida or Texas, with the first person joining the line at 10pm Friday. Flags proclaiming"Trump 2020" and"Trump 2024" fluttered in the desert wind, as chants of"Let's Go, Brandon" erupted from good-natured supporters, many of whom were in a party mood. The slogan has become code in right-wing circles after a news reporter mistook anti-Joe Biden chants. "It's just a party atmosphere," said Jonathan Riches, who was attending his 40th Trump rally. "It's almost like a MAGA Woodstock. It's patriots from around the country getting together for the common good of this country. We love our president." Jennifer Winterbauer, who was at the head of the line waiting, said she had come to hear"the truth" from Trump. "He always gives the truth about everything. The economy, the state of the world, the United States." 'Big crowds' Trump abandoned a pledged press conference on Jan 6 - the anniversary of the invasion of the Capitol by his supporters - and the rally is his first outing in front of a large crowd since October. "Many topics will be discussed," he said in a statement Friday,"including the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, the fake Big Lie, the corrupt LameStream Media, the Afghanistan disaster, Inflation, the sudden lack of respect for our Nation and its leaders, and much more. "Big crowds, will also be covered on TV. See you Saturday evening!" The rally, on farmland 60 miles (100km) from Phoenix, is expected to feature a raft of Republicans who have echoed the unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was fixed. They include Kari Lake, whom Trump has endorsed for governor of Arizona in this year's race. She has previously said she would not have certified Biden's victory if she had been in office at the time. Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in a helicopter to attend his rally in Florence, Arizona, on Jan 15, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS Also expected to appear is Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, who has spent millions of dollars trying to overturn the election. Trump, who lost his Twitter megaphone for his claims about the poll, has been a much lower-key presence in US politics since leaving office. But he still looms large in the Republican party, where adherence to his theories - or at least not publicly denying them - is often vital to survival for members of Congress and state legislatures. Turnout at the Florence rally will be keenly watched as a gauge of how much power he still wields with the base. In the lead up to his election win in 2016, and throughout his presidency, tens of thousands of supporters would throng venues to hear him speak. But crowds have since dwindled. More On This Topic