Thousands flock to DC for pro-Trump rally

Thousands of people are turning out in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to rally in support of President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE and to protest the results of the election, one week after President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Five House members meet with Taiwanese president despite Chinese objections Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE was projected the winner.

Supporters gathered in Freedom Plaza near the White House starting early Saturday morning, with a large crowd amassed by noon, when an event organized by Women for America First was set to kick off.

The group, led by former Tea Party activist Amy Kremer, had a permit approved Friday for 10,000 people to gather in the plaza. National Park Service officers stationed near the event told The Hill that they were not keeping track of the exact crowd size but that there were no reasons for concern so far.

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Trump made an early appearance at the event, with his motorcade driving slowly while he waved to supporters through the window. Scores of supporters rushed to get an up-close view as he drove past.

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The brunt of signs and speakers have focused on Trump's claims of election fraud, mimicking unfounded arguments about fake ballots and rigged results.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones addressed the crowd early in the event, urging supporters to stick by Trump as long as it takes to expose the alleged election fraud.

"It will be weeks, maybe months, but we will stick with this president, Donald J. Trump," he said.

The event was marketed as a "Million MAGA March," with White House press secretary and Trump campaign adviser Kayleigh McEnany claiming on Twitter that more than 1 million people were in attendance, though most estimates put the crowd in the thousands.

Among what appeared to be several thousand supporters gathered in the plaza by midday Saturday were roughly 100 members of the Proud Boys, a group of self-described "western chauvinists," who congregated in front of the Willard Hotel until escorting Jones to the stage in the center of the plaza.

Supporters were spotted around the downtown area showing off signs, flags and other materials in support of Trump. There was also a smattering of people wearing paraphernalia associated with far-right militia groups such as the "boogaloo bois" and the Three Percenters. A large portion of the group started moving toward the Supreme Court shortly after noon.