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John Wahl said he started working to bring former President Donald Trump back to Alabama right after the state Republican Party picked him as chairman in February.

Earlier efforts fell through, including a planned rally July 3 at the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship park in Mobile.

Saturday night in Cullman, Trump will give a speech in Alabama for the first time in almost four years. And the event comes exactly six years after an upstart Trump first fired up an Alabama crowd at Ladd peebles Stadium in Mobile during the early stages of the campaign that would end with his victory in 2016.

Trump and his Save America political organization are holding Saturday night’s rally at York Family Farms, an outdoor concert venue that was site of the Rock the South music festival this weekend.

Wahl said Cullman was a good choice because of the large outdoor venue. And it’s a place where support for Trump is extraordinary, even for Alabama. Cullman is in the state’s 4th Congressional District, where Trump got 80% of the vote in 2016 and 81% in 2020, higher than any district in the nation, according to Daily Kos.

“It is literally in the heart of Trump country in one of Donald Trump’s most favorable states,” Wahl said.

Statewide, Trump got 62% of the vote in Alabama in 2016 and 2020, winning the state by margins of more than 25 percentage points.

Saturday’s rally starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

Wahl said he did not know how many tickets have been ordered. Trump’s political organization, Save America, is managing the rally. He’s expecting strong attendance.

“Anytime you’re working with an outdoor venue a lot depends on weather and conditions in the area as well,” Wahl said. “But we would not be surprised to have 20,000-plus.”

Trump attended the Alabama-LSU football game in Tuscaloosa in 2019 and waved to the crowd in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

But Trump’s last political rally in Alabama came two years earlier, when he campaigned for Luther Strange for the Republican nomination in the special election for the Senate that year. Strange didn’t win, and the Republicans temporarily lost the Senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones that year. But Wahl said Alabama Republicans have a bond with the 45th president, which is why he made it a goal to bring Trump back to the state.

“The people of Alabama and Donald Trump have a special relationship,” Wahl said. “And I wanted to make sure everyone knew that the Republic Party is united and we’re working together and we’re preparing for 2022. That’s what this is about. We’re getting ready to challenge Democrats across the country and take back the House and the Senate.”

Wahl said the state GOP is not paying Trump of any of his political action committees for making the appearance.

Trump has endorsed Congressman Mo Brooks for the Republican nomination in next year’s race to succeed Sen. Richard Shelby, who is retiring. Other candidates for the GOP nomination are Lynda Blanchard who served as ambassador to Slovenia, Melania Trump’s home country, under the Trump administration; Katie Britt former president of the Business Council of Alabama and Shelby’s former chief of staff; and Jessica Taylor, chair and chief vision officer for Azimuth, a grant-consulting firm she founded in 2010.

Asked is he has concerns that the Trump rally could be seen as helping Brooks in the race against the other GOP candidates, Wahl said the Republican primary will not be a focus of Saturday night’s rally.

“When you look at the timeline, my original invitation came before the Mo Brooks endorsement,” Wahl said. “And it’s important to the Republican Party that we not take sides in a primary.

“Our part of the Donald Trump rally is about highlighting Donald Trump’s accomplishments and uniting the party for the general election.”

Asked whether the Senate candidates would appear on stage Saturday night, Wahl said details are still in the works. He said the list of other speakers has not been finished.

There will be a limited number of seats for dignitaries near the stage, Wahl said, but the crowd will be standing. Fold-up chairs won’t be allowed in because of security reasons, he said.

The rally comes as Alabama battles a surge in COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations that officials say is caused by the more contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates. As of Monday, Alabama hospitals had a net availability of just two ICU beds. More than 2,600 patients were hospitalized with COVID, nearing the peak of about 3,100 in January.

“Number one, it was very important to us that we had an outdoor venue, because all the research says outdoor venues are far less likely to be at risk of COVID,” Wahl said.

He said masks and hand sanitizer stations will be available. Masks won’t be required. Wahl said that’s because Alabama has no statewide mandate in place, .

Also on Saturday, the State Republican Executive Committee will hold its summer meeting in Cullman.

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afghanistan

Donald Trump: ‘I Warned You’ of ‘Disastrous Consequences’ With Biden

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In a show of presidential strength, against President Joe Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal, former President Donald Trump delivered pointed remarks at a packed Save America rally in Cullman, Alabama, on Saturday night.

“I warned the entire country of the disastrous consequences of a Biden presidency,” Trump said. “I understood; a lot of you understood it. I said Joe Biden would eliminate America’s borders in the middle of a pandemic. He did.

“I predicted that he would unleash a wave of violent crime that would turn our cities into a nightmare of killing and bloodshed.”

It was Trump’s fourth post-presidential rally and was billed to be the biggest one yet, particularly with national security questions rising amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

“Biden failed totally on the pandemic, and he’s now overseeing the greatest foreign policy humiliation in the history of the United States of America,” Trump said. “This is the greatest humiliation I’ve ever seen.

“Biden’s botched exit in Afghanistan is the most astonishing display of gross incompetence by a nation’s leader – perhaps at any time that anybody’s ever seen.

“Name another situation like this. Vietnam looks like a master class in strategy compared to Joe Biden’s catastrophe.”

Trump ripped Biden’s avoidance of media, not taking questions, and permitting the Taliban to quickly takeover Afghanistan.

“Joe Biden was going on vacation as Afghanistan was going to hell,” he continued. “This is what you get when you have weakness in the White House. You can’t have weakness in the White House.

“They have to respect your president. When I was president, we only had strength.”

Trump said this “would have never have happened” if he was still president, saying the Taliban respected American military “strength.”

“They knew we weren’t playing games,” Trump said. “They understood that right from the beginning. This proven record of America’s strength laid the groundwork to safely and responsibly bring our troops back home. Nobody was going to mess with us.

“And then this clown,” Trump continued, referring to Biden. “They rigged the whole deal.

“Now they’re taking advantage of us. And remember this: This isn’t stopping, this going to go on for a long time. This isn’t going away.”

Trump lamented the leaving behind of American citizens and allies, leaving the billions of dollars of American military equipment with the surrendering Afghanistan military, which declined to defend its country against the Taliban.

“When Biden took office, he foolishly tore up our really good plan,” Trump said. “It’s conditions. We do this. We do this. We do this. If you don’t do these things were not going to do it, and then we start dropping bombs all over the place.

“And they say, ‘you know what? We’re going to do it; we’ve decided to do it.’ We had a good understanding.”

Trump played a video of Gen. George Patton’s patriotic address to World War II troops before taking the stage, adding rips of failed generals and the White House Joints Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.

“Let me ask you: Do you think that Gen. Patton was woke? I don’t think so,” Trump said to loud cheers. “I don’t think he was too woke. He was the exact opposite.

“You know what woke means? It means you’re a loser. Everything woke turns to sh**. It’s true.”

The off-the-cuff former president struck a cord with the Alabama crowd.

“This is Trump-stock in Cullman,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., told the crowd before Trump came on.

Also, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., a Trump-supporter, was a prominent guest in his 2022 midterm campaign to sit alongside Tuberville in the Senate.

“I never felt more fear for the future of our country,” Brooks said in his introduction to Trump. “America is under attack.”

Trump threw his support behind Brooks.

“We did have a rigged election, which is terrible, terrible, and you look at what’s going on now,” Trump said. “You look at what’s going on now and the border, but take a look at Afghanistan, what’s happening

“But I’m with Alabama’s proud, hard-working, incredible American patriots with your help we’re going to elect our friend Mo Brooks to the U.S. Senate.”

Brooks was active in Congress in calling for a review of the certification of Biden’s Electoral College votes Jan. 6.

“Here tonight is someone who has fought harder than anyone else in Congress to expose the election fraud,” Trump said. “He is really a fighter, and to defend the integrity of our elections. And I have to say it, I just can’t imagine him losing.

“He’s got courage. He’s an honest guy. He’s an honest guy, and that gives them the courage. Your next U.S. senator from Alabama Mo Brooks.”

Trump vowed to stand for law and order, and patriotic conservative ideals.

“In the Republican Party we believe our country should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens,” he said.

“This is a sick culture and our country is a disaster and it’s going to die before your very eyes if this craziness isn’t stopped in so many ways.”

“We’re seeing what happens when you have dishonest and rigged elections. This is what happens. This is what you get. Our nation is being destroyed from within by people who have no right to destroy it. No right. They have no right to destroy it.”

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Big turnout expected for former President Donald Trump’s rally in Cullman Saturday

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CULLMAN, Ala. — For the first time in nearly two years, former President Donald Trump will return to Alabama.

On Saturday, a rally will be held at York Farms in Cullman with Trump set to take the stage at 7 p.m. The event will feature a number of vendors, music, and several speakers who will take the stage as well prior to Trump. Organizers estimate that the rally, which will open its gates at 2 p.m., will draw about 40,000 people to the area.

On Friday, there were already several people who were first in line for the rally.

“Many of us know each other from many previous rallies,” said Richard Snowden, known as ‘The Mayor’ of Trump rallies. “There are people who I’ve been with at 10 or 15 rallies across the country. It’s almost like ‘home week,’ we get together and have fun.”

The rally for former President Donald Trump begins Saturday night at 7 p.m. at York Family Farms. (Courtesy Landon Wexler)

Trump’s visit comes as there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in the area. Within the first five days of the school year, there were 400 COVID-19 cases reported in Cullman County Schools. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there have been 272 COVID-19 cases reported in Cullman County within the last week.

Like every hospital across Alabama, Cullman Regional Medical Center is currently out of ICU beds due to the surge in cases.

“We view this as a potential ‘superspreader’ event, just like last week’s Rock the South that was [at the same location] last weekend,” said Dr. William Smith, chief medical officer for Cullman Regional. “We’ve seen an increase in patients since that event last weekend and we’re concerned we could see the same impact.”

On Thursday, the Cullman City Council declared a state of emergency in the city due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Regarding the rise of COVID-19 cases statewide, Waid Harbison of the Cullman County Republican Party said those interested in coming out should make the best decision for their family.

Harbison said the business impact of the rally is expected to bring will represent a lot to the Cullman community.

“This will be exposure really on a national level,” Harbison said. “We are expecting people from out of state to come. I think our hotels are pretty much filled up the last time I had checked. Anytime we can bring anything to Cullman, it helps our local businesses, our restaurant, our retail stores, and everything like that.”

For those deciding to attend the rally, Dr. Smith said there are precautions you can take to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19 at the rally.

“I think the most important thing is to have had a vaccine,” Smith said. “If you haven’t, it’s a little late for this  event. Wearing a mask is very good mitigation. Wearing masks – socially distancing is good but in a crowd it’s unrealistic to think that’ll occur. But wearing a mask clearly reduces the signs of infection.”

An estimated 45,000 people are expected to attend the Trump rally in Cullman Saturday. (Courtesy Landon Wexler)

Attendees like Snowden said they were not worried about the virus.

“[COVID-19] doesn’t factor in,” he said. “In my opinion, it is really a glorified different strain of the flu. If you take care of yourself, for the most part, you’ll be okay.”

The last time Trump was in Alabama was November 9, 2019, when he and former First Lady Melania Trump went to Tuscaloosa to watch the Crimson Tide play LSU.

The following items will not be allowed at the rally, per instructions from the Secret Service:

  • Aerosols
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Appliances (i.e. Toasters)
  • Backpacks, bags, roller bags, suitcases bags exceeding size restrictions (12”x14”x5”)
  • Balloons
  • Balls (e.g. footballs, tennis balls, baseballs, etc.)
  • Banners, signs, placards
  • Chairs (including folding chairs)
  • Coolers
  • Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Firearms
  • Glass, thermal and metal containers
  • Knives (of any kind)
  • Laser lights and laser pointers
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Noisemakers, such as air horns, whistles, drums, bullhorns, etc.
  • Packages
  • Poles, sticks, and selfie sticks
  • Spray containers
  • Structures
  • Supports for signs/placards
  • Tripods
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons
  • And any other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screeners.

Those wanting to attend the rally must have a ticket, which are free and can be received here.

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