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() — Former President Donald Trump is set to hold his first 2024 presidential campaign rally in Texas on March 25 as the anniversary of the deadly Waco siege nears.
According to reports, local Republican leaders say they have been advised to expect up to 10,000 rallygoers at Waco Regional Airport for Trump’s Make America Great Again Rally.
The rally comes as the United States nears the 30th anniversary of a deadly siege in Waco that ended in fire and bloodshed between a cult-like group called the Branch Davidians and U.S. and Texas law enforcement agents.
On April 19, 1993, 86 people died at the group’s compound in the 51-day siege, including several children, along with Branch Davidian leader David Koresh.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesperson Steve Cheung said the rally is being held in Waco “because it is centrally located,” making no mention of the deadly siege and dismissing any connection with extremists.
“President Trump is holding his first campaign rally in Waco in the Super Tuesday state of Texas because it is centrally located and close to all four of Texas’ biggest metropolitan areas — Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — while providing the necessary infrastructure to hold a rally of this magnitude,” the statement from Cheung read. “This is the ideal location to have as many supporters from across the state and in neighboring states attend this historic rally. It also happens to be the home to the Baylor Bears, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in America.”
The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that Trump is expected to limit his appearance to the airport.
Reuters contributed to this report.