Former President Donald Trump held his first major rally of the 2024 presidential election cycle in Waco, Texas, on Saturday. The rally took place 30 years after the infamous 51-day siege of a compound in Waco occupied by cult leader David Koresh and his anti-government followers. The siege ended in a firefight on April 19, 1993, after then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the FBI to raid the compound.

Trump is currently facing the prospect of indictments in Manhattan, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., over 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 U.S. Capitol.

The choice of Waco as the rally location has been criticized by some, including Mary Trump, the former president’s niece and a vocal critic of his. She tweeted that the rally was a ploy to remind his supporters of the Waco siege and the anti-government sentiment it represented.

However, Trump’s team insists the location choice was primarily based on Waco’s central location, within a three-hour drive of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. They also emphasized the importance of Texas in delivering delegates to the Republican National Convention, given that the state is second only to California in the number of delegates available.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung stated that Waco is “the ideal location to have as many supporters from across the state and in neighboring states attend this historic rally” as possible.

Trump’s aides dismissed the possibility that the rally’s timing during the 30th anniversary of the siege might show sympathy to anti-government voters.

Source: NBC News