Trump campaign rejects rally ahead of Sessions-Tuberville primaries amid pandemic


Trump was slated to travel to the state before the Senate race between his former attorney general Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University soccer coach Tommy Tuberville, but the plans were canceled as state officials voiced concern about a massive rally and campaign officials finally decided not to. A person close to the campaign said there are currently no protests on the horizon, but attendees are looking for possible locations for when they decide to organize them again.

“We never confirm where we are looking until a meeting date and venue is announced. Work is always underway to identify the sites,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the Trump campaign.

On Tuesday, Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced an amended order, which will extend the current rules until the end of July. The order encourages minimizing travel outside the home and the use of face covers in doing so. The order also states that “all non-work-related meetings of any size, including drive-in meetings, which cannot maintain a constant six-foot distance between people from different households are prohibited.”

The decision is likely to be a relief to Sessions, who once held the position safely before becoming Trump’s attorney general, but is now in a close race with Tuberville. The rally was scheduled to take place in his hometown.

The scrapped plans come as Trump continues to complain about low turnout during his first return to the campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he made his way to an arena filled with empty seats. The campaign never formally announced plans for the Alabama rally.

Sessions says Trump is fortunate to have done his 'duty' and recused himself from Russia investigation

There were once plans to announce new protests soon after Tulsa, and some of Trump’s aides believed that the event would validate their claims for backlog. But instead, the opposite happened, and the campaign began to rethink what Trump’s protests would look like in the future, including weighing smaller events or outdoor venues.

Tulsa was Trump’s first demonstration in three months since coronavirus restrictions were implemented, and served as a clear reminder to the campaign, and to the President, that the pandemic is far from over. Eight campaign staff members and two Secret Service agents in Tulsa tested positive for coronavirus, and the rest of the Trump campaign staff who attended the rally were quarantined the following week. The campaign conducted temperature checks, provided hand sanitizer to attendees, and distributed masks, but did not require people to wear them or social distance during the event.

Campaign staff removed the signs promoting social estrangement during the event. A similar scene unfolded a few days later when Trump spoke at a crowded church in Arizona where few attendees wore masks.

Alabama, a deep red state that overwhelmingly supported Trump in 2016, began reopening in early May, but is now one of dozens of states showing an upward trend in the average of new daily cases, an increase in at least 10% in the last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Trump had been eager to return to the campaign and was personally excited about the idea of ​​traveling to Alabama days before the Senate race, where he endorsed his former attorney general’s opponent. He sees the protests as an outlet where he can connect with his followers in a way that he cannot enter when he is in Washington and has blamed poor poll numbers for his absence from the campaign.

But now deeper concerns are emerging about his chances for reelection within the President’s orbit. Several of Trump’s allies have voiced concern for the first time in recent days that their chances of success in November are diminishing, eroded mainly by their divisive behavior and their refusal to gauge their response to a series of national crises.

Several of them spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak frankly, but some of their allies say so publicly.

“Not many people say it out loud to the right, but the fact is, President Trump could lose this election. In fact, unless the fundamental facts change soon, it could be difficult for him to be reelected,” said the presenter. from Fox News. Tucker Carlson said on his show last week. Trump has been known to closely watch Carlson’s show.

The president’s allies hope he can correct course in the coming months and have a boost when he sits down to debate former vice president Joe Biden. Another person close to Trump pointed out that at this point in the 2016 campaign, he still had the Access Hollywood film saga ahead of him.

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