Attendees at a Wednesday night Virginia rally for the state's Republican ticket recited the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag allegedly flown during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot (which they claimed to be a "peaceful" event).
The "Take Back Virginia" rally, headlined by former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, was aimed at galvanizing the GOP's right-wing base ahead of the state's "critical November elections," reports The Washington Post. Although the party's nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, did not attend the event, he received a "warm embrace from Trump, who called in by phone," The Associated Press reports. And despite his absence, Youngkin thanked organizer John Fredericks "profusely" for arranging the event and "supplied him with campaign signs to hand out," Fredericks told the Post. Politico notes that Youngkin has, in a "needle-threading" exercise, been trying to "conjure the spirit of Trump" without having Trump come to Virginia himself, so as to avoid scaring away any "GOP-curious independents."
Bannon kicked off the Wednesday rally "by repeating Trump's false claims about the 2020 election and predicting Trump's return — in 2024, if not before," writes the Post. And when it was Trump's turn to call in, he called Youngkin a "great gentleman" before asserting that "we're gonna win it again."
"We won in 2016. We won in 2020 — the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere," Trump said. "But we're gonna win it again."