Trump Says He’s ‘The Most Innocent Man in the History of Our Country’ at Lie-Filled Waco Rally

US-POLITICS-VOTE-ELECTION-TRUMP - Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images
US-POLITICS-VOTE-ELECTION-TRUMP - Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump held the first campaign rally for his 2024 presidential campaign on Saturday, held at the Waco Regional Airport in Texas, making a dramatic entrance with a flyover to the tune of Top Gun single “Danger Zone” as hundreds of his MAGA followers in attendance cheered. Meanwhile, “Christian Worship Artist” Vanessa Horabuena took the stage, splashing paint onto a black canvas to quickly turn Rorshach-like splashes of orange, yellows and neutrals into a serious, side-faced profile portrait of Trump with an American flag in the background. The event also featured the track “Justice for All” featuring Donald J. Trump and the J6 Prison Choir.

During the rally — attended by endorsers that included Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, Ted Nugent, and several Texas politicians, including Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick — Trump revisited his favorite MAGA rallying cry hit lists: falsely blaming immigrants, the media, the Democrats, a stolen election, and more for the demise of America, where he purports to be the cure.

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Trump’s return to his favorite mega-rally ways comes as he faces a number of legal challenges. A possible indictment looms in New York over him paying adult film actress Stormy Daniels hush money over their alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. (Trump has reacted as predicted with warnings of “death and destruction” and calls for protests over the impending charges.) In Georgia, a grand jury is investigating whether he and some of his cohorts meddled in the state’s 2020 presidential election. And then there’s the criminal investigation from special counsel Jack Smith who was appointed by the Justice Department to independently investigate Trump’s campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his role in the bloody events of Jan. 6.

Trump addressed his current legal woes, claiming between the release of his tax returns and other documents that have been provided for the investigations against him, he’s blameless. “And yet after going over 11 million pages of documents, I built a great company — they’ve got nothing, they’ve got nothing,” he claimed. “And my tax returns on top of it, and they’re a big return. It probably makes me the most innocent man in the history of our country.”

Trump went on to claim he has been done so dirty in the investigations into his alleged conduct that people quit in solidarity — another lie of many he told during the rally. “They even had numerous prosecutors who resigned because I was being treated unfairly,” Trump claimed. “That made me feel so good when I heard that. Think of it. People actually in a Democrat area, Democrat office, they resigned. Did you know that they resigned?” he asked (The answer is no, because it is not true). “A lot of them resigned the office because they said, ‘You can’t treat a man like this. He didn’t do anything wrong.’”

During the two hours of his rally, there were numerous fibs, from him blaming once again immigrants for pretty much all societal woes to calling Democrats “arsonists” and the country’s “biggest threat.” And then there was his oft-repeated lie: that the 2016 election was rigged. “We won in 2016. We won by much more in 2020, but it was rigged,” he claimed. “You know, in 2020, I got the most votes of any sitting president in history.”

As Trump battles challenges in court, he is also waging a battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who may potentially become the former president’s biggest rival for the 2024 Republican nomination. DeSantis has yet to throw his hat in the ring, but he’s already throwing his own jabs at Trump, and the two went after each other recently about each others’ sex life.

During Saturday’s rally, Trump referred to DeSantis as DeSanctimonious and DeSanctus. He claimed a poll today showed him leading DeSantis by 69 (and DeSantis at 18 or 19), though it was unclear to what poll he was referring. Trump also claimed if he was the chosen Republican nominee, “I will protect — unlike DeSanctus — Social Security and Medicare for our great seniors, defending them from both the radical left and the Paul Ryan Republican establishment” and he also said DeSantis would not do well with farmers. “The farmers love Trump,” Trump said of himself.

The location for Trump’s first 2024 rally appeared symbolic as the Waco standoff homes in on the anti-government stance that fuels far-right, white supremacist, and conspiracy theory groups. Next month marks the 30th anniversary of the Waco massacre. In 1993, law enforcement attempted to raid a compound occupied by the Branch Davidians, an armed religious cult, and a deadly standoff ensued. A shootout between parties turned into a 51-day siege and ended in a fiery blaze, with more than 80 dead (more than two dozen of those who died were children) over the course of the weeks-long incident.

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