x

Politics

Trump Will Campaign in Arizona Following His Hush Money Conviction

PHOENIX (AP) — Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail Thursday with a trip to Arizona, his first appearance in a battleground state since he was convicted in a hush money scandal.

Trump is scheduled to speak at a town hall in Phoenix organized by Turning Point, a conservative youth organization that has seen its influence rise alongside Trump’s takeover of the GOP.

Trump responded defiantly to the verdict against him a day after a New York jury found him guilty last week of a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to a porn actor. But he has not spoken directly to the swing-state voters who will decide the November election.

He is likely to find a friendly audience at Turning Point. Led by Charlie Kirk, the group has harnessed the energy of young people drawn to Trump’s Make America Great Again movement by cultivating conservative influencers and hosting glitzy events. And it’s made Kirk and his allies wealthy.

Nowhere is Turning Point’s influence greater than in Arizona, the group’s adopted home state where its loyalists have taken on prominent roles in the state GOP but have struggled to win general elections. Turning Point’s slate of conservative candidates lost in the 2022 midterms, including Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor and is now running for U.S. Senate.

The group is looking to expand its influence this year to other battleground states and got a boost when Trump ousted former Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel in February. She was replaced by Trump’s hand-picked successor, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who has spoken positively about working with Turning Point.

President Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020 by about 10,000 votes. It was, along with Georgia, one of two states decided by less than half a percentage point and is expected to be close again this year.

Arizona Republicans have enthusiastically embraced Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. State lawmakers commissioned an unprecedented partisan recount that confirmed his loss. Cochise County officials in southern Arizona are facing criminal charges for refusing to certify the 2022 midterm election results.

Hours before Trump is scheduled to speak, Jake Hoffman, a Republican state senator who is also a top Turning Point consultant, will be arraigned for his role in an alleged plot to overturn Trump’s loss in Arizona. Hoffman is accused of being a fake elector who signed a document falsely claiming to represent Arizona in the Electoral College.

Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is scheduled for arraignment in the same case on Friday.

Despite the state’s importance on the presidential map, Trump has not campaigned in Arizona since 2022, when he held a rally to support his slate of midterm candidates, all of whom ended up losing.

Trump’s trip west includes several private fundraisers and a rally on Sunday in Nevada, another battleground state he lost narrowly in 2020.

___
By JONATHAN J. COOPER Associated Press

RELATED

GORMAN, Calif.  — Authorities evacuated at least 1,200 people Saturday as a wildfire in Los Angeles County spread over thousands of acres near a major highway and threatened nearby structures, officials said.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany  — Jude Bellingham scored to give England a winning start at the European Championship by beating Serbia 1-0 on Sunday.

BALTIMORE  — Gunnar Henderson hit his eighth leadoff homer of the season, and three more Orioles also went deep off Zack Wheeler to help Baltimore beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Sunday.

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland  — Nearly 80 countries called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

ATHENS - Four years after the COVID-19 pandemic shut international travel and kept tourists away from Greece, the government now wants  to limit how many cruise ships can dock at popular islands because there are too many tourists.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.