Trump Supporters Arrive In Washington Once Again For A 'Million Maga March'
Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET
Thousands of President Trump's supporters – for the second time in a month – have flocked to the nation's capitol for a protest in support of the president and his false claims of a stolen election.
This weekend's Million Maga March follows a Nov. 14 protest that brought masses of the president's supporters to Washington, D.C. and ended with scattered clashes between rally-goers and counter-protesters.
Saturday's event, which according to organizers will be attended by more than , shares a title with last's month protest – and is arranged to take place near the White House.
Several groups who attended last month's protest are marching again on Saturday. This includes the Proud Boys, a self-proclaimed western-chauvinist organization known for violent confrontations with left-wing protesters. They're considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A White House spokesman confirmed that as the group gathered in D.C., one of its leaders, Enrique Tarrio, took a public tour of the White House. Tarrio posted about his visit to the right-wing social media app Parler. The White House says that Tarrio did not meet with the president nor was he specifically invited. Tarrio said the visit "shows we've come a long way."
The rally was scheduled to begin blocks from the White House in downtown Washington's Freedom Plaza. From there, demonstrators were expected to make their way toward the Supreme Court, which late on Friday dismissed a Hail Mary legal challenge to the results of November's election brought by the Texas attorney general and supported by President Trump and the majority of House Republicans.
Among Saturday's speakers was former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who in his first public remarks since he was pardoned by Trump sought to deny President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the election.
"People ask me this all the time now, in the last couple of days certainly, on a scale of one to 10, who's going to be the next president of the United States. And I say 1o, Donald J. Trump! 10!" Flynn told the crowd.
Flynn was pardoned by President Trump late last month despite pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Trump broadcast his approval of Saturday's demonstration, tweeting, "Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn't know about this, but I'll be seeing them! #MAGA."
During last month's protest, Trump made an impromptu visit, riding by the rally in his presidential motorcade.
The November march saw several reports of clashing between Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators. While tensions were largely kept in check for most of the day, after night fell violence broke out between the two sides.
The Washington Post reported that Trump supporters armed with batons brawled with counter-protesters within blocks of the White House. At least one person was reportedly treated for serious injuries after being stabbed in the back. Authorities said at the the time that at least 20 people were arrested and two police officers were injured.
Ahead of this weekend's rally, several groups in the area were again planning for counter-demonstrations. On Friday, according to NPR member station WAMU, both Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed in the city's Black Lives Matter Plaza, which led to several arrests.
Demonstrators are gathering at a time when cases of the coronavirus have been surging in Washington, D.C., as in most of the nation. In November, many of the participants in the pro-Trump gathering were seen without masks or face coverings.
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