Thousands of event attendees showed up to support former President Donald Trump for his “Independence Day Spectacular” rally in Pickens, South Carolina on July 1. By 4:45 a.m., hundreds of supporters had already gathered at the rally site, even though Trump was scheduled to speak at 1 p.m., according to a local NBC News affiliate.
News website Citizens Free Press reported on Twitter the thousands of supporters that had lined up to see the former president early in the morning before sunrise in the small South Carolina town.
Vaughn Hillyard, an NBC reporter on the ground, said that he had seen “little evidence” that Trump’s hold over the Republican Party had in any “noteworthy” way deteriorated based on the sheer number of people who turned out for the rally, Breitbart noted.
He said that Trump’s predominance over the party was made clear by his unique ability to attract a “loyal backing like this.” An NBC News poll also found that since his latest criminal indictment, the former president’s lead has actually grown among Republicans who want him to be the GOP’s nominee in 2024, with him garnering at least 50% of the would-be primary vote.
Over 50,000 people are believed to have attended the Pickens rally, which temporarily increased the town’s population — just over 3,300 residents — by almost 15 times. Pickens county sheriff Randall Beach told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, a local publication, that there is “no way it’s less than 50,000.”
During his speech, Trump discussed the importance of election reform, saying that Republicans would need to “move heaven and earth” to make elections completely secure to supposedly prevent rigged elections by Democratic opponents.
The Pickens rally marked Trump’s first after his recent criminal indictment by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice, in which he was charged with 37 felony counts related to the mishandling of classified documents, more specifically his storage of classified documents in his Mar-a-lago residence in Florida.