CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan spoke with several supporters of former President Trump ahead of his first post-presidential rally on Saturday, many of whom told him they fully expect the real estate mogul to be reinstated before the end of the summer and warned of potential political violence in America if he is not.
“He didn’t lose, I know he didn’t lose,” one woman told O’Sullivan, indicating she believes unfounded claims made by Trump and other Republicans that widespread voter fraud led to an unfair election that swung in President Biden‘s favor.
Many of the supporters who gathered for the Saturday rally in Wellington, Ohio, wore memorabilia and carried signs with slogans like “Trump won” and “Biden sucks” displayed across them.
“It’s about all of them, and 2020 and the next one,” another woman told O’Sullivan about her “Trump won” T-shirt.
O’Sullivan pressed the woman on the election’s result, saying, “But he lost though in 2020, right?”
“No!” she responded.
A third group of Trump supporters indicated before the rally that the one message they hoped to hear from the former president is that “he’s coming back.”
Trump has reportedly been pressuring allies in conservative media and other confidants to push his claim that the election was stolen and suggest he will be reinstated as soon as August. There is no mechanism by which such a reinstatement could happen.
“He’s coming back soon, and you guys are going down,” a Trump supporter in Wellington identified as Ron told O’Sullivan, sparking laughter from others in his group. “The military already knows it was a fraud. He won by over 80 percent.”
Ron continued: “He’s coming back before the middle of August.”
“And what if that doesn’t happen?” O’Sullivan asked.
“We’re going to be in a civil war because the militia will be taking over,” the man responded.
A self-described member of the right-wing Three Percenters militia group who attended the rally told O’Sullivan he was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters breached the complex and briefly halted a joint session of Congress from certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory.
At least six members of the Three Percenters have been charged with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol that day.
“Yeah, I don’t think anybody should have went inside, but when you’re worked up in the moment and the adrenaline is pumping, you know, it just happens,” the man in a Kevlar vest said.
One woman told O’Sullivan she believed the Jan. 6 insurrection was completely “staged.”
O’Sullivan asked the self-avowed militia member if he believed more violence was imminent relative to Trump and the 2020 election.
“Yeah,” he responded. “I honestly believe it’s coming.”