ormer President Donald Trump spoke at his first Make America Great Again (MAGA) rally since he left office in January – and as in his other post-presidency appearances, he kept up the lie that he was the actual winner of the 2020 election.
Trump carried on his complaining about Republicans who are not in his corner.
And when Hillary Clinton’s name came up, the crowd yelled: “Lock her up!”
The main purpose of what Trump promised would be a “really big” rally in the Cleveland area was to slam an Ohio Republican congressman, Representative Anthony Gonzalez, who was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his impeachment.
“Every single Republican needs to vote him out of office,” Trump said of Gonzalez.
He called to the dais his chosen candidate for the race, Max Miller, who was an aide to Trump in his 2016 campaign and in the White House.
Recalling his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Trump maintained the lie that he had really won – even though the election by historical standards was not a close one.
“On the evening of Nov. 3 the election was over and then all of a sudden things started closing down all over,” Trump said of election night.
“We took a massive victory, they did, into something that should never be allowed,” he added.
In fact, millions of legitimate votes were counted long after Election Day. None of the lawsuits Trump supporters pursued in hope of overturning the election got any traction in state and federal courts.
Before the rally, the ex-president made clear his plans to take revenge on Gonzalez for voting to impeach.
“Fake Republicans, anybody that voted for the impeachment doesn’t get it,” he said Friday on the far right-wing Newsmax television network.
“But there weren’t too many of them. And I think most of them are being, if not all, are being primaried right now, so that’s good. I’ll be helping their opponent[s].”
Trump is also seeking to play a kingmaker role in the race to replace retiring Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, an establishment conservative. Several GOP candidates are seeking his endorsement.
After the Ohio rally, he plans to speak in south Florida over the July 4 holiday weekend and will journey to the southern border next week.