Trump Waves and Drives Past Fans Gathered to Protest His Loss

Date: 2020-11-14 22:35:20

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Thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered in Washington on Saturday to protest the results of the election, and were treated to a cameo appearance from the president.

Trump on Friday had suggested in a tweet that he “may even try to stop by” the event. Instead, the president surveyed the scene from his armored limousine as flag-brandishing supporters chanted “four more years.”

Trump waved and smiled as the vehicle did a slow loop around Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, on a cool, sunny morning before heading west to Virginia, arriving at the Trump National Golf Club around 10:45 a.m. He returned to the White House around 3 p.m.

Trump has continued to assert on Twitter, without evidence, that the Nov. 3 election was rigged for Biden, even as a series of lawsuits challenging elements of the vote have been thwarted.

On Saturday, he criticized Georgia election officials for the way a recount of votes in that state is being conducted, and later tweeted photos of the rally saying “people are not going to stand for having this Election stolen.”

Saturday’s event, billed variously as the “Million MAGA March,” “March for Trump” and “Stop the Steal,” comes one week after news organizations projected Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

Trump and his allies have argued the contest was tainted by widespread voter fraud. There’s no evidence that fraud affected the results and U.S. officials on Thursday called the election “the most secure in American history.”

Nonetheless, several thousand Trump supporters gathered for speeches by conservative lawmakers and critics, and to march to the Supreme Court. Among the attendees were members of the Proud Boys group in helmets and flak jackets.

CNN earlier estimated the crowd at 8,000 to 10,000; others estimated the gathering in the tens of thousands. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted that “more than one MILLION” had shown up.

Television images showed many attendees were not wearing masks, at a time coronavirus cases in the Capital and nearby areas are on the rise. Some carried signs deriding top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci.

Several pro-Trump groups have posted online about the event and far-right figures, such as Alex Jones of Infowars, have also encouraged their followers to attend.

Few counter-protesters were seen Saturday as Trump’s motorcade snaked through downtown.

Trump has been largely out of public view since election night. On Friday, delivered his first public remarks in more than a week during a Rose Garden appearance focused on coronavirus vaccine development.

Prior to that Trump last spoke on Nov. 5, when he insisted that he would “easily win” if “you count all the legal votes.” He attended a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony on Wednesday but didn’t speak.

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