A slimmed down version of former President Trump left for Waco, Texas Saturday for the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign, which was being riled up by rocker Ted Nugent, who called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a ‘homosexual weirdo.’
The former president, 76 but looking svelte in a navy suit, white shirt and no tie with an American flag pin at the West Palm Beach International Airport, is to hold a rally in Waco this afternoon.
Nugent, who had three multi-platinum solo albums in the 1970s and has long been a supporter of conservative causes and President Trump, was railing against Washington for how they were spending his tax dollars.
Nugent was tasked with performing the national anthem for the rally – Trump’s first in Texas of the 2024 presidential cycle.
A slimmed down version of former President Trump left West Palm Beach International Airport Waco, Texas Saturday for the first rally of his 2024 presidential campaign
But before he played his electric guitar version of the Star-Spangled Banner, Nugent addressed the crowd, telling them they were the ‘real America.’
‘I’m telling you the whole world sucks and America is catching up, but here in Waco, Texas with the real s**tkickers, this don’t suck at all,’ Nugent said.
Trump’s holding of a rally in Waco is ‘a statement — that he was sieged by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago and that they were accusing him of different things that aren’t really true, just like David Koresh was accused by the FBI when they sieged him,’ Koresh’s successor, Pastor Charles Pace, told the New York Times.
Trump’s campaign insisted the location and timing of the event had nothing to do with the Waco siege or anniversary. Instead, a spokesperson said the site was chosen because it was conveniently situated near four of the state’s biggest metropolitan areas — Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — and has the infrastructure to handle a sizable crowd.
The city is part of McLennan County, which Trump won in 2020 by more than 23 points. The airport where the rally is being held is 17 miles from the Branch Davidian compound.
The rally had already been in the works before it became clear that a grand jury in New York was drawing closer to a possible indictment as it investigates hush money payments made to women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump during the height of his 2016 campaign. Trump has denied the women’s claims.
But the timing will give Trump an opportunity to demonstrate his continued popularity with the GOP base and to portray himself as the victim of a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’ as he campaigns for a second term in the White House.
The musician then turned his attention to the Trump supporters jailed for their participation on the January 6 Capitol attack.
The former president, 76 but looking svelte in a navy suit, white shirt and no tie with an American flag pin at the West Palm Beach International Airport
Former President Donald Trump exits his vehicle as he arrives to board his airplane
Trump’s campaign insisted the location and timing of the event had nothing to do with the Waco siege or anniversary
Performing at a Donald Trump presidential campaign event in Waco, Texas, Ted Nugent called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky a ‘homosexual weirdo.’
‘How about a prayer for the political prisoners in Washington, D.C., who are victims of jack-booted thugs by Uncle Sam, who defied their oath to the Constitution and arrested Americans and do not allow them Constitutional rights,’ Nugent said.
He then asked for a ‘moment of silence for the political prisoners.’
Afterward, Nugent said he had a few ideas for the country.
‘Secure my border!’ he yelled.
‘Give me my tax dollars back. I didn’t authorize killing babies at Planned Parenthood,’ he said. ‘I want my tax dollars back. I want my tax dollars back. I didn’t authorize giving our military hardware to the Taliban.’
‘I want my money back,’ he continued. ‘I didn’t authorize any money to Ukraine to some homosexual weirdo.’
The rally had already been in the works before it became clear that a grand jury in New York was drawing closer to a possible indictment as it investigates hush money payments made to women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump during the height of his 2016 campaign
The timing will give Trump an opportunity to demonstrate his continued popularity with the GOP base and to portray himself as the victim of a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’
Supporter waves a Trump flag while waiting in line for former US President Donald Trump to speak during his Make America Great Again Rally at the Waco Regional Airport Center in Waco, Texas
The rally comes as Trump has berated prosecutors, encouraged protests and raised the prospect of possible violence should he become the first former president in US history to face criminal charges, brought forth by the New York DA Alvin Bragg.
Some of his recent rhetoric has echoed language he used before the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to stop the transfer of power.
‘What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States…and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?’ Trump wrote on his social media site early Friday.
The grand jury is investigating the hush money payment and is expected to meet again Monday in New York.
Fire consumes the Branch Davidian Compound during the FBI assault to end the 51-day standoff with cult leader David Koresh and his followers in March 1993
David Koresh was the leader of the cult claimed to be Christ, and his followers were involved in a standoff with police at the compound in 1993
Trump has spent weeks now railing against the investigation. In a move that seemed designed to preempt a formal announcement and to galvanize his loyal base, he claimed last Saturday that he would be arrested the following Tuesday. While that did not happen, Trump has used the days since to try to shape public perception, claiming, for instance, that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had plunged into ‘total disarray,’ though there was no evidence to suggest prosecutors were backing away from the case.
The Manhattan case focuses on a $130,000 payment that Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, made to porn actor Stormy Daniels as Trump was in the throes of the 2016 campaign. Trump later reimbursed Cohen and his company logged the reimbursements as a legal expense. Cohen has already served time in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, among other crimes.
Trump is also facing an investigation in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election as well as federal probes into his handling of classified documents and possible obstruction, as well as his efforts on January 6.