Trump Seeks Revenge and Rejuvenation in Arizona

by Lauren Wynn

Tonight, President Trump will travel to Phoenix, Arizona for a campaign rally. Beleaguered by weeks of conflict and criticism over his rhetoric and his response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, the attention-addicted POTUS returns to the site where he announced his immigration policies to thunderous applause seeking what any junkie seeks: another fix.

Three questions are swirling around this visit:

1. Will there be violence?

According to local news reports, a wide range of organizations plans to protest Trump’s visit — from the First Congregational United Church of Christ to Antifa, from Arizona Stands (Standing Rock) to Cosplayers Against Hate. On the flip-side, Bikers for Trump, the Maricopa County Young Republicans and, of course, Trump’s faithful base plan to turn out in support.

Despite requests by the Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton, to delay the rally, which he fears could spark tensions following so closely on the heels of Charlottesville, the Trump campaign has barged ahead with its plans seemingly deaf to his pleas. The instigator-in-chief, intent on feeding both his ego and the fires of dissent among his base, will be met on the tarmac by Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey; however, it appears as if Ducey and most other elected officials plan to steer clear of the rally itself.

The city’s Chief of Police, Jeri Williams, promised that sufficient protections will be in place to prevent a repeat of the deadly violence witnessed in Charlottesville, stating:

“We plan on creating a situation where people are allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights while still providing access and options for public safety to get in and to people.”

Let’s hope she’s right.

2. Will Trump continue to push for the ouster of Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is up for re-election?

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has been a thorn in Trump’s side since day one. As one of the few Republicans to eschew endorsing Trump, Jeff Flake has remained a steadfast and outspoken critic of the President.

Not surprisingly, Trump has gone after Flake on Twitter and has even hinted at endorsing his opponent – Dr. Kelli Ward (aka Chemtrail Kelli) – as punishment for going against the goads.

The Republican Party leadership has pushed back

The GOP says they won’t tolerate such attacks on incumbent lawmakers, but a Trump mega-donor is spending mega bucks to help Kelli win her bid to unseat Flake. While certainly shy of the $300,000 donated by Mercer, the Senate Leadership Fund is running this ad targeting Trump rally attendees in an effort to discredit her:

Flake is just another in a long line of Republicans who have borne the wrath of Trump for daring to oppose him. If Trump calls him out at a rally in his home state it will be game-on for the GOP — either stand up for one of their own or cave-in to pressure from the Oval Office. Let’s hope they choose wisely.

3. Will he pardon controversial Arizona figure, former Sherrif Joe Arpaio?

Many expect Arpaio to be in attendance and there has been much speculation about the President pardoning him. Arpaio has been convicted of criminal contempt for his refusal to cease racial profiling activities. In an op-ed yesterday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wrote:

Let’s be clear: A pardon of Arpaio can be viewed only as a presidential endorsement of the lawlessness and discrimination that terrorized Phoenix’s Latino community. Choosing to announce it in Phoenix — especially in the wake of Charlottesville — would add insult to very serious injury and would reveal that the president’s true intent is to further divide our nation.

Whether that is truly Trump’s intent, no man can know, but such a blatant thumb-in-the-eye to the courts that have thwarted his travel ban would speak volumes of both the character and motivation of this president. Nowhere have I seen the sentiment surrounding this ill-conceived visit more eloquently expressed than in Jennifer Rubin’s Op-Ed today in the Washington Post:

The Phoenix visit and potential pardon demonstrate once again that Trump is incapable of leading and unifying a great, diverse country. His yearning for adulation and incapacity for empathy or graciousness cast him in the perpetual role of instigator, divider and provocateur when he should be healing, uniting and inspiring a country he was elected to lead and which he is committing to continued war. Never has a president been so ill-suited to the moment and the needs of the country.

I wholeheartedly agree.


Former grassroots state lead for Evan McMullin's 2016 Presidential campaign, Wynn, now a resident of Washington, DC, is an avid student of government and politics, and a freelance writer and blogger. Contributor to @eatprayvote


  1. I firmly believe that Trump hopes that this rally will evolve into a massive clash of protesters & a riot so he can put his warped spin on it. I’m praying for safety for those who have intentions of promoting rights for all & an end to racism. This will be a long night.

  2. So, I’m assuming that Donald Trump has gotten all of his work done at the Oval Office in record time so that he’s free to campaign in Phoenix. (I’m assuming the tax payers aren’t footing the bill for this, right?). He’s given us world peace, balanced the budget, every American has the best healthcare, and it’s affordable! There’s no unemployment because Ivanka moved her clothing line from China to the United States. This dead-beat potus is having the time of his life without doing anything concerning his job description. He needs to stay at the White House like he said he would, although with his lack of qualifications that would be a waste of time as well. He’s made a lot of promises that he hasn’t even tried to keep. He either has a short attention span, or he’s just a big, orange, lying con-man. He does these rallies for his fan base when he’s not feelin’ the love from all of America. That somehow validates him. He’s hoping for chaos because that’s all that drives his ego. Anybody else as sick of him as I am?
    Impeach or Ammendment 25.

    1. You’re spot on, Jackie. I think the 25th amendment approach would be a long shot. I’m pinning my hopes on Mueller. God help us all!

  3. UPDATE: “White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One that there would be no discussion of a pardon and no action taken on that front at any point on Tuesday.” Tune in on Wednesday when all previous bets are off.

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