“Guilty” or “Guilty”: Threatened by indictment, Donald Trump declared his innocence on Saturday at his first campaign rally for the presidency in a theater in Waco, Texas, where a deadly event took place 30 years ago. An attack on a sect against federal authority.
• Read more: Trump rally in Waco, a former stronghold of anti-federalism
For more than a week, the former US president has threatened imminent arrest in New York for allegedly paying porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before his 2016 victory.
By paying the porn actress, Mr. Trump is seeking justice to determine whether violating campaign finance laws is a felony or a misdemeanor.
“Under the auspices and direction of the ‘Department of Justice’ in Washington, D.C., the New York District Attorney prosecuted me for a matter that was not a crime, a misdemeanor, or an affair,” he previously said. Thousands of supporters gathered under the Texas sun.
The city of Waco, population 130,000, is regularly associated with the anti-government Davidian sect.
In the spring of 1993, the world was brought to a standstill for 51 days by an FBI-initiated siege of a ranch where armed followers of Guru David Koresh had stationed themselves. Seventy-six members of the unit, including 20 children, died in the farm fire. Four police officers were also killed.
Donald Trump’s campaign team did not respond to requests from AFP about the selection of Vico for the meeting.
The former president, threatened by investigations into his 2020 Georgia campaign and handling of classified White House records, continues to fall prey to a mysterious “shadow state.”
The spectacular FBI raid on his home in Florida? “Shocking abuse of power”. The two congressional impeachment proceedings he went through? “A Witch Hunt”.
Little dance steps
By returning to his base at a rally in Waco, Donald Trump is reconnecting with an exercise he loves. Scenes of the former president sketching out little dance steps or tossing his famous red hats to the crowd are now cult-like among his followers.
In the Texas city, some of the latter were impatiently stamping their feet on Friday evening, unaware of the legal complications of their statue.
Calling it an attempt to “silence” him, Kelly Heath, 49, told AFP, “Everything has been distorted to give him a bad image.
Outside a rally near the Waco airport on Saturday, Lewis, a 72-year-old retiree, was joined by his 16-year-old grandson, who he says is a “huge fan” of Trump, even though he’s not that old. To vote, he says, “All presidents have had mistresses. Why not him?”
For her part, Julie, who hails from the city of Tyler (Texas), assures that Stormy Daniels’ case is “not a big cause.” She came out of nowhere to see how much money she could get from Donald Trump.
“These are lies. He’s the boss, and he’s going to save America,” says Sherry, 55.
Many stalls sell the entire panoply of the Trump brand, from “Trump 2024” and “Trump Girl” hats to white shirts that read “God, Guns, Trump in Waco, Texas.”
A sign affirms “Democrats are Communists.”
Above all, the meeting gives the Republican a chance to breathe new life into his campaign, which, while most polls have him winning the primary, is currently not enjoying the expected momentum.
The billionaire, who continues against all odds to instigate never-proven “fraud” in the 2020 election, has seen a section of the right — especially his wealthiest donors — become the new champion of the right. Tough, Ron DeSantis, 44.
Florida’s governor has yet to officially enter the race, but he will undoubtedly be one of his biggest rivals for the Republican nomination in 2024.
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