President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington on Saturday for a protest to support his unwarranted allegations of electoral fraud as he pushes forward with a flood of protracted legal challenges to overthrow Joe Biden’s election victory.
Trump took a short drive past the demonstrations in his camper on Saturday as supporters, many waving “MAGA” or “Make America Great Again” flags, cheered.
The president smiled at the protesters and shouted, “USA! USA!” from the car window, but he did not step out.
A crowd at the city’s Freedom Plaza, with more still arriving from all directions, waving flags and shouting “Four More Years” in a festive atmosphere reminiscent of a Trump rally.
With the right-wing military group Proud Boys also among those gathered, a large security presence was deployed in the capital to prevent collisions with anti-Trump events planned outside the Supreme Court.
The latest polls gave Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden a solid final victory in the state electoral college that decides the presidency by 306 votes to Trump’s 232. Two hundred and seventy votes are required for the election.
The 306 votes were equal to Trump’s speeches in his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, which he then called a “landslide.”
The last two undeclared states were called on Friday by American television networks – with Biden winning the former Republican stronghold of Georgia in a close race and Trump winning North Carolina.
The election was ‘so corrupt’, Trump supporters claim
However, Trump continues to hinder Biden’s ability to prepare for his transition before the inauguration on January 20 and has filed many lawsuits – without success – to challenge the vote count around the country.
On Friday, a Michigan judge issued a further denial of Republican allegations of fraud.
But Margarita Urtubey, 49, a horse breeder who flew in from Miami to Washington with her sister, told AFP the election was “so corrupt” and added “Trump won by landslide. We are here to march to” stop the theft “of this choice to make our voice heard. “
Darion Schaublin, who was driving from Columbus, Ohio, came to protest “the whole system is rigged … the way the information comes to the people.”
“The truth never comes out,” said the 26-year-old, who said he lost his job at a restaurant after refusing to wear a mask as protection against Covid-19.
Schaublin estimated that there was a “95 percent” chance that Trump would not have a second term – “and I’m not sure the legitimacy of that.”
Counter-demonstrations by Trump opponents
Organizers have given the meetings various names, including Million MAGA March, March for Trump and Stop the Steal.
In protest of the marches, opponents on social media tried to create confusion by flooding the hashtags #MillionMAGAMarch and #MarchforTrump with photographs of pancakes.
Some Trump opponents and leftist groups have also planned counter-demonstrations in Washington and other cities.
‘Time must decide’
Trump on Friday said “time will tell” if he remains president, in a moment of his unwavering refusal to concede his election defeat.
He broke his silence after a week without comment on camera and spoke at a Rose Garden event to announce the imminent approval of a coronavirus vaccine.
During a brief speech on the vaccine work, Trump insisted that he would never again demand a lock-in to limit the spread of the virus.
He then added, “Whatever happens in the future, who knows what administration it will be, I guess time will tell.”
The hint of doubt came despite him continuing to claim that mass fraud – for which no evidence has been presented – deprived him of the victory in the November 3 election.
Despite his own intelligence services’ statement on Thursday that the election was “the safest in American history”, Trump and his right-wing federal alliance show no sign of giving up their efforts to overthrow the result.
( Jowharwith AFP, AP and REUTERS)