On Presidents’ Day, hundreds gathered on a Florida street corner with flags and signs. But they weren’t there to celebrate the current democratically elected president, nor American presidents in general. The crowd was dedicating the holiday to Donald Trump, the twice-impeached political exile who passed through the demonstrators in his motorcade and flashed a thumbs-up.
Trump has been out of office for nearly a month, but some of his most diehard supporters remain convinced, falsely, that he won re-election—or at least that he will run again in 2024. Last week, after senators acquitted the ex-president of inciting the deadly mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump issued a statement suggesting he would re-enter the public eye. “Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun. In the months ahead, I have much to share with you,” the statement read.
That was exciting news for Trump’s most mobilized fans. Although supporters canceled pro-Trump events—some of which were suspected to be violent in nature—shortly after the Capitol attack, citing fear of law enforcement, key organizers of the Jan. 6 rally are back to peddling the same hoaxes and violent rhetoric.