Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene to hold 'America First' rally in Mesa next Friday
Two of the most controversial Republican members of Congress are coming to Mesa next week for an “America First” rally.
Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who are among former President Donald Trump’s fiercest allies in Congress, are co-hosting a cross-country series of “America First” rallies. The kick-off rally happened last week in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida whose residents voted for Trump in mass numbers.
The Mesa rally will be held Friday, May 21, in the Arizona Ballroom of the Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa at 200 N. Centennial Way. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the rally is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
"Join us in Arizona!" Gaetz tweeted in announcing the event.
Apart from their support for Trump, both Gaetz and Greene are also among the most polarizing House members as well, with strong opposition from colleagues within and outside the Republican Party.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel along with him. Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and agreed Friday to cooperate with the government's investigations.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., quipped on Twitter that the Mesa location was selected "Likely cause it is also only a five minute drive to the nearest high school."
Meanwhile, Greene was stripped of her House committee assignments in February after public outcry over her extremist beliefs and support of far-right conspiracy theory QAnon.
She remains one of the most outspoken supporters of Trump and far-right ideology in the House. On Friday, she made headlines after a 2019 video of her harassing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., went viral on Twitter.
The rally will take place in the 9th Congressional District. The office of Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., who represents the district, did not immediately respond to The Arizona Republic's request for comment.
Last week’s “America First” rally in Florida was reminiscent of a Trump rally, according to outlets who covered it.
“Tell me, who is your president?” Greene reportedly asked the room full of mostly maskless supporters, according to NPR.
“Donald Trump!” they replied.
“That's my president, too,” Greene said.
“America First” was the name of a nativist caucus Greene was said to be planning to form with Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., after a news report that the caucus would emphasize keeping the nation loyal to an Anglo-Saxon past and curtailing immigration.
Many Democrats and Republicans alike backed away from it and Gosar and Greene distanced themselves from the idea.
Friends of Matt Gaetz, the campaign committee that is sponsoring the series of “America First” rallies, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.