NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump will hold the first rally of his 2024 campaign later this month in Waco, Texas.
The rally, announced Friday, will be held on the evening of Saturday, March 25, in a Republican state where the former president has a large following, increasing the chances of a packed house.
The rally comes as Trump faces the possibility of becoming the first former president in US history to be indicted, and law enforcement officials in New York are currently bracing for the possibility of a lawsuit in the coming weeks.
Waco holds deep symbolism as the site of the 1993 Waco Massacre, when federal agents seized the building of the Branch Davidians, a religious cult. The siege lasted 51 days and ended with the death of cult leader David Koresh and 80 of his followers in a fire 30 years ago next month.
It’s unclear whether the city’s history played a role in Trump’s decision. Trump has visited the state a lot over the years, and Waco is part of McLennan County, which Trump won by more than 23 points in 2020.
But Trump has long opposed federal law enforcement. When the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago club last summer as part of an investigation into the possible misuse of classified documents, he broke the news, saying his home was “currently under siege, raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
In the first months of his campaign, Trump rarely left his Florida club, but began visiting early voting states. On Monday, he made his first trip to Iowa, where the first contest of candidates from the Republican Party will take place.
The plans for the rally come as Trump has faced a series of investigations, including one in New York, that appear to be nearing completion.
Porn actor Stormy Daniels met Wednesday with Manhattan prosecutors investigating a $130,000 payment on behalf of Trump. That same day, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who arranged the payment, testified for a second day before a New York grand jury.
The payment was made in 2016, as Trump’s first presidential campaign was winding down, and Daniels was in talks to appear on television to address her allegations of having sex with Trump a decade earlier.
Trump has denied the allegations and called the investigation politically motivated.
Waco is also home to Baylor University and the headquarters of “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia home decorating empire.