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Trump loyalists flock to Waco for election rally

Several thousand Trump supporters have lined up outside the Waco airport ahead of a rally for the ex-president, who is facing ongoing criminal investigations.

March 26, 2023
By Nathan Layne
26 March 2023

Die-hard fans of Donald Trump have flocked to the ex-president’s election rally in Waco, Texas, brimming with defiance as their favoured candidate faced overlapping threats of criminal indictment.

Several thousand Trump supporters lined up outside the Waco Regional Airport waiting to go through security and enter the event on Saturday. 

The crowd, many wearing Trump T-shirts and hats, broke into applause when Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress, walked into the venue.

Fifty-seven-year-old Laurie Hansen said Trump was “the best president ever”.

“He’s the only one who can bring our country back,” she said. “We are at a precipice. It’s time to put our foot down and say, ‘no more’.”

Like others at the rally, Hansen dismissed talk that Trump might be prosecuted over allegations he violated campaign finance laws for paying hush money to an adult film actor, or hoarded top-secret documents, or masterminded a plot seeking to overturn the 2020 election.

“They’re all political witch hunts,” said Hansen, a sales co-ordinator who drove three hours from Sherman, Texas. “We all know that.”

The rally is happening in Waco as the city marks the 30th anniversary of a raid by federal agents on the Branch Davidians religious sect there that resulted in 86 deaths, including those of four law-enforcement officers. 

Trump, who is seeking to solidify support for the Republican nomination in 2024, faces growing legal peril from a series of ongoing criminal investigations, including the hush money case, which is being weighed by prosecutors in Manhattan.

The former president has sought to paint the New York case as politically motivated, raised money off it and used it to rally supporters to his side. On Friday, he issued an apocalyptic warning, saying the country faced potential “death & destruction” if he was charged with a crime.

The city of Waco said it was expecting 15,000 people to attend the rally.

In addition to prosecutors, Trump is likely to target Ron DeSantis for criticism. The Florida governor has yet to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination but has drawn Trump’s ire nonetheless.

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