Trump returns to the campaign trail holding his first ‘revenge’ rally Saturday night in Ohio to back House candidate who’s trying to unseat GOP congressman who voted for impeachment

  • Former President Donald Trump will hold his first ‘revenge’ rally Saturday night outside of Cleveland, Ohio
  • He’s hitting the campaign trail for the first time since leaving the White House in January 
  • Trump is stumping for his former aide Max Miller, who is running to unseat Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio’s 16th Congressional district
  • Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection 
  • Trump wants all the Republicans who voted against him excised from the party and plans to campaign for their primary opponents in the run-up to 2022 
  • The Saturday night rally will be held at the Lorain County Fairgrounds, to the southwest of Cleveland 

Former President Donald Trump will hold his first ‘revenge’ rally Saturday night outside of Cleveland, Ohio – hitting the campaign trail for the first time since leaving the White House.   

Trump is stumping for his former aide Max Miller, who is running to unseat Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in Ohio’s 16th Congressional district.

Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the ex-president for inciting the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill. 

Former President Donald Trump (right) returns to the campaign trail Saturday night to stump for his aide Max Miller (left), who’s challenging Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of the 10 Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year  

Supporters of former President Donald Trump gather for his first post-presidential rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio 

Supporters of former President Donald Trump wait in line for his first rally since leaving the White House Saturday in Wellington, Ohio 

Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump gather for his first post-presidency campaign rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio

David Dumiter from Michigan wears a ‘Trump 2024’ hat and Trump sunglasses in advance of the former president’s first post-White House rally Saturday in Wellington, Ohio 

A car is decorated to mark former President Donald Trump’s first post-presidential rally in Wellington, Ohio. The car also features an anti-Biden/Harris bumper sticker 

A supporter carries a large ‘Trump 2024’ flag at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio on Saturday in advance of the former president’s first post-White House campaign rally

A large banner outside former President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Ohio says ‘Trump Won.’ Trump, for months, has falsely claimed that he won the 2020 election, which he lost to President Joe Biden 

Trump wants all the Republicans who voted against him excised from the party.    

He’s also already pledged to hit the trail for Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who’s running to unseat Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. 

‘We’re giving tremendous endorsements,’ Trump told Newsmax on Friday. ‘Fake Repubilcans, anybody that voted for the impeachment doesn’t get it,’ he said. 

‘But there weren’t too many of them. And I think most of them are being, if not all, are being primaried right now, so that’s good. I’ll be helping their opponent.’ 

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump a second time, only New York Rep. John Katko hasn’t attracted a MAGA opponent.  

Since leaving office on January 20, Trump has maintained a fairly low profile – speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando in February and at a North Carolina GOP event earlier this month. He’s called in and done interviews, or appeared on podcasts, with like-minded, right-wing hosts. And he’s sent out statements through his Save America PAC, as he continues to be banished from Twitter and Facebook. 

The Saturday night rally, being held at the Lorain County Fairgrounds, to the southwest of Cleveland, will kick off more regular public appearances from the ex-president. 

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican who voted in favor of President Donald Trump’s impeachment for inciting the January 6 insurrection, is being primaried by a former White House and Trump campaign official, Max Miller 

He’ll hit up the swing state of Ohio first, before traveling to Florida for a July 3 rally and fireworks show in Sarasota. 

His return to the trail comes as the ex-president looks to be in imminent legal jeopardy. 

Manhattan prosecutors informed the Trump Organization Thursday that it could face criminal charges over its business practices, with The New York Times reporting that charges could come as early as next week.  

Trump also returns to the trail at a time when the coronavirus threat has decreased, yet still exists – especially to those who are unvaccinated.   

Ohio falls in the middle of U.S. states’ vaccination rates, with 44.1 per cent fully vaccinated. 

While Trump has tried to take credit for COVID-19 vaccine development, he also didn’t receive his doses of vaccine publicly. 

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll from earlier this month found that nearly half the unvaccinated respondents to the survey, 49 per cent, were Republicans. That’s in comparison to 29 per cent who said they were Democrats. 

Part of Trump’s legacy will be his politicization of the pandemic response. 

Trump flouted his own government’s advice and started holding large rallies – which had the potential to become ‘superspreader’ events – starting last June. 

His disastrous indoor Tulsa rally wasn’t well attended, but outdoor rallies afterward attracted large, mostly mask-less crowds through the November 3 election.   

There were already droves of Trump supporters at the Ohio site Saturday morning, with the rally slated to begin at 7 p.m.  Some had been camping at the site for days, according to The Associated Press.      

Trump’s bet to beat Gonzalez, who is a former Ohio State and Indianapolis Colts football player, is Miller, who worked in the Presidential Personnel Office.   

The office was featured in a March 2018 investigation by The Washington Post.   

The Post found inaccuracies on Miller’s LinkedIn page, which said he attended Cleveland State University from 2007 to 2011, worked on the presidential campaigns of Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio and worked as a Marine recruiter. 

Cleveland State University said Miller graduated in 2013. 

Once the newspaper started asking questions Miller removed the dates of his education and the claim that he was a Marine recruiter. 

In an interview with the paper, he called them mistakes and blamed them on a relative he said made his LinkedIn page. 

Miller was introduced to the Trump campign by his cousin, Eli Miller, who was a senior official in the Treasury Department. 

Miller told The Post that it was his ‘work ethic’ that won the Trump campaign over, not his familial ties. 

Politico reported that Miller was the grandson of real estate executive and philanthropist Sam Miller. 

Max Miller (right) accompanies then White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham (left) to the White House State Dinner with Australia in September 2019 

While a source told Politico Miller already had a six-figure sum pledged to him by potential donors, he also had family money to pull from.  

The Washington Post also reported on Miller’s criminal record, including a 2007 charge for assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he reportedly punched a man in the back of the head and ran away from police. 

He pleaded no contest for two misdemeanor charges. The case was later dismissed as part of a program for first offenders, the Post reported.  

In 2009, Miller was charged with underage drinking, which was also dismissed as part of a first offenders’ program.  

In 2010, he pleaded guilty do a disorderly conduct charge, stemming from a late night fight after Miller left a hookah bar. During the fight, police said he punched through a glass door, cut his wrist and then wandered off, the Post wrote. 

‘Growing up, everyone makes mistakes,’ Miller told The Post. ‘Who I was in the past is not who I am now,’ he told the paper in 2018. 

The Post investigation highlighted frat-like behavior at this White House office, which was responsible for vetting key posts across government. Memorably, The Post found that PPO staff was playing the drinking game ‘icing’ at work happy hours, where a Smirnoff Ice would be hidden and the person who found it would have to take a knee and chug the bottle. 

Miller moved on from the PPO to become director of advance and left the White House for the 2020 campaign after the disastrous Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, which featured droves of empty seats. 

He served as deputy campaign manager for presidential operations. 

‘Every day, our campaign grows in strength, and Max’s wealth of experience and expertise is an important addition to our team’s world-class advance efforts,’ then Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in the July 2020 announcement. 

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