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Trump fans stage series of small, sparsely-attended rallies across US

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Gia Morris (R), 8, carries a doll while cheering during a "People 4 Trump" rally at Neshaminy State Park in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, U.S. March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Supporters of President Donald Trump held a second day of small rallies on Saturday in communities around the country, a counterpoint to a wave of protests that have taken place since his election in November.

Organizers of the so-called Spirit of America rallies in at least 28 of the country’s 50 states had said they expected smaller turn-outs than the huge crowds of anti-protesters that clogged the streets of Washington, D.C., and other cities the day after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

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Their predictions appeared to be correct, as they were on Monday when similar rallies were held. In many towns and cities, the rallies did not draw more than a few hundred people, and some were at risk of being outnumbered by small groups of anti-Trump protesters that gathered to shout against the rallies.

“People feel like they can’t let their foot off the gas and we need to support our president,” said Meshawn Maddock, one of the organizers of a pro-Trump rally of about 200 people in Lansing outside the Michigan State Capitol building.

“How can anyone be disappointed with bringing back jobs? And he promised he would secure our borders, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Brandon Blanchard, 24, among a small group of anti-Trump protesters, said he had come in support of immigrants, Muslims and transgender people, groups that have been negatively targeted by Trump’s rhetoric and policies.

“I feel that every American that voted for Trump has been deceived. Any campaign promises have already been broken,” Blanchard said.

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In Denver, several dozen people held pro-Trump signs at the top of the steps of the Colorado State Capitol building, according to video footage streamed online.

Two lines of police below them looked out on a small crowd of people protesting the rally at the bottom of the steps.

“No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” the anti-Trump protesters shouted up the steps, along with obscene anti-Trump slogans.

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The pro-Trump demonstrators were quieter, holding up Trump signs as they milled about the steps, the video showed.

In the nation’s capital, more than a hundred people gathered near the Washington Monument, a short walk from the White House, although the president himself was again in Florida for the weekend.

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“He does not hate Latinos, he does not hate Hispanics, he does not hate Mexicans,” a woman who described herself as a Mexican-American supporter of Trump said, addressing the crowd from a small stage. “He’s put his life at risk for us.”

(This story was corrected to fix last paragraph to make it “he does not hate Hispanics” instead of “he does hate Hispanics.”)

(Writing and additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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2020 Election

America is on pace for record-shattering early voter turnout — including in critical states: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that voters are casting early ballots in numbers on track to set a historic record — including in some critical battleground states.

"Early-voting counts suggest a record level of civic participation before Election Day. The tens of millions of ballots already cast show highly enthusiastic voters are making sure their votes are counted amid a pandemic," said the report.

15.8 million people in battleground states have already voted, and in some states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, more people have voted early so far than did in the entire early voting period of 2016. In North Carolina, meanwhile, 2 million ballots have been cast — more than double the same amount at this point in 2016.

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Pro-Trump activist who claims he’s from the future will represent himself against federal charges for stealing NFL brain scans

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On Tuesday, The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reported that Austin Steinbart — a QAnon activist controversial even within the pro-Trump conspiracy world — plans to act as his own attorney in an upcoming federal criminal case.

Some QAnon news: QAnon figure Austin Steinbart, who goes by the alias "Baby Q" and has claimed to be the leader of QAnon visiting from the future via time travel, just filed to act as his own attorney in a federal felony case. What could go wrong?

— Will Sommer (@willsommer) October 20, 2020

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‘Whiny orange baby’ Trump mocked for his panicked threat to scoop CBS on his own interview meltdown

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On Tuesday, following reports that President Donald Trump stormed out of a "60 Minutes" interview with Lesley Stahl for an unknown reason, the president tweeted that he is considering releasing footage ahead of CBS, to prevent reporters from spinning the "FAKE and BIASED" interview.

Commenters on social media laughed at the president for telegraphing his apparent fear over the content of the exchange.

Lay off the drugs man.

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