Thousands of supporters of Donald Trump have turned out at rallies across the country in an attempt to regain the momentum after weeks in which the President’s administration has appeared to be faltering and flailing.
From Denver, Colorado to Georgia in Atlanta, supporters of the New York tycoon held events to proclaim their ongoing support for him, aiming to shift a narrative of implosion and chaos that has surrounded many of the early days of Mr Trump’s term.
A group, Main Street Patriots, said it helped to organise the so-called Spirit of America rallies in up to 70 cities on Saturday and Monday. The rallies took place in 33 of the the country’s 50 states.
“Unlike those protesting against President Trump's vision, we are a diverse coalition that are the heart and soul of America that wants our nation to fullfil our potential, as the greatest nation on God's green earth,” organisers wrote on the group’s website.
“Blue-collar voters helped propel President Trump to victory and these rallies will help provide those forgotten voices a mechanism so they can be heard.”
Reuters said some of the rally organisers came out of the Tea Party movement, a large informal network of anti-establishment conservatives that has become an increasingly powerful force in Republican politics since its beginnings in 2009.
Large rallies, often filling sports arenas, became a hallmark of Mr Trump’s 17-month presidential campaign, in contrast with lower-key events staged by his main rival, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's candidate.
Last weekend, Mr Trump rekindled that campaign energy for the first time since his election in a characteristically freewheeling rally in Melbourne, Florida. Many commentators said the event was more of a campaign-style event than one by someone seeking to reach out to all sides.
But Mr Trump's crowds have rarely regrouped since November’s election. In contrast, the country has witnessed large protests by people who opposed his policies, particularly his crackdown on immigration. Among the biggest was the Women’s March on Washington on 21 January, where the attendance – some estimates put the crowd at 500,000 – far exceeded the number who attended Mr Trump’s inauguration the previous day.
Betty Blanco, who organised the Spirit of America rally in Denver, was in Washington for the women’s march. She said she was saddened by what she saw.
“I had the opportunity to ride on the subway with the women marchers,” she told the news agency. “They were excited, they were happy, but I never heard them talking about women's rights, but I did hear them trashing Trump, and I got the idea they were just mad because they lost the election.”
Jeanne Zaino, Professor of Political Science at Iona College in New York, told The Independent that the pro-Trump rallies were an attempt to reassert support for the President.
“We saw some of this last week in Florida,” she said. “They have been feeling their voices have not been heard. There has been lots of anti-Trump stuff, from the Town Halls to the Oscars. They are trying to show they are still here, and still relevant.”