WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump will personally address a gathering of his supporters in Washington Wednesday as he seeks to rally populist support for his efforts to stop electoral certification.
The White House confirmed Tuesday that Trump will speak at a rally on the Ellipse just south of the White House. The protests coincide with Wednesday’s congressional vote expected to certify the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute.
The rallies have local officials bracing for potentially violent street clashes. With downtown D.C. businesses boarding up their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan Police Department. During a press conference Monday, Bowser urged local area residents to stay away from downtown D.C. and avoid confrontations with anyone who is “looking for a fight.” But, she warned, “we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.”
A pro-Trump rally Dec. 12 ended in violence as hundreds of Trump supporters faced confrontations with a collective of local activists attempting to bar them from Black Lives Matter Plaza, an area near the White House.
Organizers planned to rally Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza and again all day Wednesday on the Ellipse, including a 1 p.m. Wednesday march to the Capitol. Expected attendees include high-level Trump supporters like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican strategist Roger Stone, a longtime Trump devotee whose three-year prison sentence was commuted by Trump.