WACO, Texas — Thirty years ago, federal agents were in the midst of a 51-day siege on a compound here occupied by cult leader David Koresh and his anti-government supporters. The siege ended in a shootout on April 19, 1993, after Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the FBI to raid the compound.

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump, who has made a political art of criticizing alleged government-led conspiracies to steal his power and freedom, will hold his first major rally of the 2024 presidential election cycle here.

Coupled with the physical backdrop of this small town on the Brazos River, a three-hour drive from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Trump is surrounded by the possibility of impeachments in Manhattan, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., per questions. about his alleged hush money payment to a porn star, his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

«Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,» Mary Trump, the former president’s niece and an outspoken critic, said. wrote on Twitter. «It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous 1993 Waco siege, where an anti-government cult fought the FBI. Dozens of people were killed. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.»

Trump has been criticizing government officials investigating him, with increasingly dark warnings about what will happen if they impeach him.

But as much as it is impossible to ignore the obvious spectacle of an anti-establishment candidate stoking thousands of his supporters at the scene of a confrontation between federal agents and anti-government conspiracy theorists, there are more traditional political reasons for Trump to choose Waco as the starting point for a new round of its characteristic rallies.

As he seeks the Republican presidential nomination for the third time in a row, Trump and his team understand well the importance of Texas in delivering delegates to the Republican National Convention. The state is second only to California in the number of available delegates, and will be more important to the final count than the top four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) combined.

«It’s guaranteed to be a crowd for him and I think that’s part of the success they can have going to the red states,» said a former Trump campaign adviser. «It’s intimidating. It’s a show of force. Here are 10, 15,000, whatever, people in a room and no one else can do that.»

It also fits your basic pattern of picking up sites that are outside of major cities but accessible to them.

«President Trump will hold his first campaign rally in Waco, Texas on Super Tuesday because it is centrally located and close to the four largest metropolitan areas in Texas,» said Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung. «This is the ideal location for as many supporters as possible from across the state and neighboring states to attend this historic rally.»

Trump aides dismiss the possibility that holding a rally in Waco on the 30th anniversary of the siege could show sympathy for anti-government voters.

“That sounds like things people in New York or DC who have never been to Texas would say,” said a Trump aide.

Por admin