Trump Will Address Dead-Ender Fringe Raging Against Biden Victory Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: A woman with the Proud Boys wears an American flag bandana during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Thousands of protesters who refuse to accept that President-elect Joe ... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: A woman with the Proud Boys wears an American flag bandana during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Thousands of protesters who refuse to accept that President-elect Joe Biden won the election are rallying ahead of the electoral college vote to make Trump's 306-to-232 loss official. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 5, 2021 12:48 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expected to speak at the “Stop the Steal” protest in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, a White House spokesperson confirmed to TPM — a major coup for the dead-ender movement as it rallies a rogue’s gallery to the nation’s capital.

The event, the third of its kind in D.C. since Trump lost reelection in November, will protest the certification of Biden’s electoral college victory by Congress, placing thousands of protesters just outside the Capitol Building as Trump officially becomes a one-term President.

Washington, D.C. officials are concerned about the potential for violence as thousands of Trump supporters enter the district, especially after multiple Black Lives Matter  banners were burned and several people were stabbed at the last protest. The city has restricted firearm possession at protest areas and called in the National Guard for support.

Trump has called on his supporters to show up to the protest, and said Sunday that he will “be there.” Addressing the crowd, however, takes his involvement to a new level — during an earlier post-election rally, he simply waved at the crowd from his presidential SUV. ABC News reported Monday that Trump was expected to address the crowd, citing unnamed sources familiar.

The demonstrations planned for D.C. Wednesday will occur across the city, including at the Ellipse park outside the White House, where Trump is expected to speak, and at the Capitol Building. At least three permits have been issued by the National Park Service for various groups.

Wednesday “will be a challenge and a potentially dangerous situation downtown with groups that have explicitly planned to seek out conflict and provoke violence,” D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen told reporters Tuesday.

The President’s plans to address protestors “has changed the dynamic a bit,” said Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles and another scheduled speaker Wednesday.

“They tend to be the thousand-pound gorilla,” Martin said, referring to the Trump campaign. 

Trump has steamed for weeks over his loss to Biden. And with his legal options for contesting the election essentially having run out — a closed-door hearing in Georgia Wednesday to object to the election results results failed, as have many others before it —  the President has taken to pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to “come through for us” and somehow overturn the election’s results on Wednesday.

Pence has not indicated he will go along with Trump’s latest pressure campaign.

Wednesday’s protests are largely the organizing product of several pro-Trump groups who gathered the earlier D.C. rallies, as well as protests at state capitals around the county.

“Stop The Steal” is comprised of a network of individuals and groups, including the fringe right-wing activist Ali Alexander and Tea Partier Amy Kremer. Partner groups include everyone from MyPillow to Turning Point Action. Other speakers expected Wednesday include Roger Stone and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Martin acknowledged to TPM that Trump’s constitutional options for securing a second term were narrowing by the day. But he said he wanted more investigation and public discussion of Trump supporters’ belief that the President had been cheated.

“I don’t have all the smoking guns,” he said. “But I have enough of a sense of how things work and the evidence, that makes me say, ‘Why aren’t we getting to the bottom of it?'”

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