BATAVIA — A crowd filled the tent at Cornerstone Church on Friday to hear speakers on the first day of the political movement ReAwaken America Tour — as they were seated, those taking the stage throughout the day included Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump, and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, comedian Jim Breuer and Pastor Mark Burns of the Harvest Praise and Worship Center in South Carolina.
Eric Trump was introduced Friday to loud applause and chants of “USA!” when he took the stage around 3:15 or 3:20 that afternoon. Part of his speech focused on the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, as part of an investigation into whether he took classified files of the White House.
“We’ve had an interesting week this week…Went to my office in Trump Tower – had a great day, it’s sunny outside, the sun is out. All of a sudden, I get a call from my team at Mar-A-Lago: “The FBI is attacking us right now.” I say, “You’re kidding me,” Eric Trump said.
“Most of the time, if somebody got a call from somebody saying the FBI was raiding their house, they’d be shocked. But after the first indictment, the second indictment…and the witch hunt (Robert) Mueller and what they do to us every day and (New York State Attorney General) Letitia James and how they weaponize politics against our family every day as the FBI raids and was rummaging through Melania’s closet, I wasn’t even shocked.
Eric Trump said he called his father.
“I say, ‘You know the FBI is in Mar-a-Lago right now? ‘” Eric Trump said. “He goes, ‘Really?’ We have such a good relationship with them, I wonder why they are there.
Erik Trump told his father he could tell him why.
“It’s called…Joe Biden. Anyone who thinks Joe Biden didn’t put them in place is crazy,” said Eric Trump. “A local office does not raid the home of the former President of the United States – especially Donald Trump and especially Mar-a-Lago – without the approval of the President of the United States. Trust me Give me a break that Joe Biden didn’t do this.
Eric Trump, at the start of his speech, asked the crowd, “What the hell happened to New York State? Can someone enlighten me please? »
“I grew up here. I love this state more than anyone, but man, they’re trying to destroy it and it’s all from New York,” he said.
Flynn talked about a few different topics, referring to the overturning of Roe v. Wade when he spoke of “50 years of praying to save babies’ lives.”
“I stand here because I am a product of prayer. I’m not going to tell you the whole Bible, because I get in trouble when I do,” Flynn said. “But here is where I think the country is. I think the country is surrounded by a wall and I call these “bricks of fear”. They are building this wall around all of us – around our individual lives, around the lives of our families, around our churches, our communities and certainly in this country.
Flynn then listed the “bricks of fear,” which included free and fair elections and the COVID pandemic.
Flynn spoke about the FBI and the Justice Department, which he said target mothers who try to protect their children at school board hearings.
“They are clearly persecuting people politically. I want the rule of law in this country to be respected. We all do it,” he said. “We need such massive reform of these institutions because we cannot continue to live like this. We teach our little children what to do when they are babies. That’s when we start teaching them what’s right and what’s wrong. We cannot have, in this country, a lack of respect or a lack of confidence in the rule of law or the institutions that are supposed to protect us.
Outside the tent, a few locals were among those present on Friday.
Paul Rolfe, 68, of Rochester was near the tent as the speeches continued.
“I came alone and bought myself a VIP ticket and bought another $250 general admission ticket for someone else who can’t afford it. We need to support people who want to be here and can’t afford it. I thought I would put in my little contribution because I can afford it,” he said. “The day I ordered the tickets over the phone, the lady I spoke with…I told her I want to get a ticket for me and then I also want to spend $250 to get a ticket from general admission for anyone who needs it who can’t afford it who would like to enter.
Rolfe feels that the country is “going down”.
“We can stop it, but we have to do things like this and come together and fight against it,” he said. “I’m just here to support everyone who fights for America, because that’s what we do. If we give up now, what will be left for our grandchildren?”
Rolfe had mentioned being interested in hearing Donald Trump Jr., speak if Trump Jr. was there Friday, and Eric Trump, as well as Flynn. Still, he said, he didn’t get to hear them speak on Friday because he’s heard them many times before at forums.
“But, it was never in person. It would be nice to say, ‘Hey, I’ve been there. I heard General Flynn speak in person. Didn’t feel like it is what they say it is. Sometimes personal impressions are different from what the media broadcasts. When you meet someone in person, that’s a big difference from thinking you know someone just because you’ve seen them on TV or…in the media,” Rolfe said. “I don’t know General Flynn. Is it someone I would like to know? I do not know. If I met him in person, maybe I’d think, “Yeah,” or maybe I’d think, “Maybe he’s not the kind of person I really think he is.” .
Some say they didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it was the party that left them.
“A lot of people are turned ex-Democrats who said, ‘You know what? Enough of that stuff. A lot of people are changing sides,” he said.
Rolfe said he wanted to attend the tour so he could talk and be among like-minded people.
“If I find someone who disagrees with me, I’m more than willing to debate it,” he said. “I enjoy debate. You know, when people don’t want to debate you, they yell at you. If you tell the truth, they don’t want to hear your truth, so they yell at you.
The Rochester resident said he watches programs online and listens to podcasts.
“I choose which ones I want to watch and I watch a variety of them, because sometimes you think someone is legit and then you find out later that maybe they’re not totally up to it,” said he declared.
“Three people I follow are supposed to be Make America Great Again (MAGA) fans, and then they put Flynn down and say, ‘Flynn is corrupt’ and ‘Flynn is this’ and ‘Flynn is that’. I don’t know. “
Why are these people putting Flynn down? Rolfe asked.
“I stopped looking at them, because they don’t even show any evidence,” he said. “They just point out there that he did this and he did that,” without any evidence. I don’t like people telling me things without proof.
“I’m kind of a ‘show me’ type. You show me the proof and maybe I’ll look at it a little better,” he said.
Margaret Theriault of Lima in Livingston County said she did not come to Friday’s event to listen to a specific speaker.
“I was part of the trucking convoy…and also part of the Bunker Hill Movement. I’ve been following the Patriots since they left California, when I first heard about them and I haven’t stopped,” she said. “I watch live streamers for real news. I’m government, entertainment…education, I’m very involved in that too.
Another thing she is following closely is the issue of abortion, Theriault said.
“You name it, I’m involved in quite a lot of things in our country,” she said.
Theriault said she’s been following the ReAwaken America tour for a while since it started. She followed Flynn, Eric Trump and other speakers who were scheduled for Friday, and is knowledgeable.
“With newcomers arriving (to see the tour in Batavia), I wanted to help explain it more,” she said, as she stood outside the tent, handing out handouts. pamphlets on the “Restoration Movement of 1776”, which itself describes its goal as “to restore our government to a Constitutional Republic” by the restoration of a moral society.
“I invited a lot of people,” she said. Theriault said she spoke to people about the COVID vaccine, how the government has been exposed as not being run properly and is corrupt,
“The education system must change. I have seen it evolve to its present. Now we have to backtrack,” she said.
Theriault said she plans to be back at the event today, doing the same.
The ReAwaken America Tour continues today at Cornerstone Church.