Trump says he’s looking forward to Phoenix visit, rips GOP state senator

Jul 23, 2021, 1:25 PM | Updated: 1:29 pm
President Donald Trump speaks at the Students for Trump conference at Dream City Church, Tuesday, J...

President Donald Trump speaks at the Students for Trump conference at Dream City Church, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Former President Donald Trump said he’s looking forward to visiting Arizona this weekend and launched an attack on a Republican state lawmaker who’s been critical of the partisan audit of last year’s metro Phoenix election.

Trump, who is scheduled to appear Saturday at an event called the “Protect Our Elections Rally” in downtown Phoenix, issued two statements Thursday referencing Arizona via his Save America PAC.

“I am looking forward to speaking at Turning Point Action on Saturday afternoon, in the Great State of Arizona, at the Arizona Federal Theatre. We will be broadcasting at approximately 6:00PM EST [3 p.m. Arizona time]. Big crowd, see you there!” one said.

Turning Point Action, a youth activist affiliate of Charlie Kirk’s conservative Turning Point USA organization, is putting on the event.

The venue’s doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m., with free entry on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is scheduled to end at 5 p.m.

People interested in attending can register for tickets online.

Trump’s visit comes as work is winding down on the contentious audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election that was authorized by GOP leaders of the state Senate. Trump’s other Arizona-related statement Thursday took a shot at state Sen. Paul Boyer, who went from supporting an audit to opposing what it turned into under the watch of lead contractor Cyber Ninjas.

“Republican Arizona State Senator Paul Boyer, a RINO if there ever was one, is doing everything in his power to hold up the damning Forensic Audit of Maricopa County which has been taking place over the last 90 days. The people of Arizona are demanding it. Boyer has been nothing but trouble, and nobody knows why. All we demand is Voter Integrity! He is being primaried by a strong and highly respected challenger, former Arizona State Representative Anthony Kern,” the statement said.

Boyer responded on Twitter, referencing an audit method based on a conspiracy theory about fake ballots being snuck into Arizona from China and noting that Trump has been banned from the social media platform.

Kern was photographed outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection and was spotted several times tallying ballots as part of the recount at Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum. He lost his District 20 reelection bid last year and has launched a campaign for Boyer’s Senate seat in 2022.

In February, the Senate won a monthslong legal battle with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for access to nearly 2.1 million ballots, voting machines and other materials from the Phoenix area’s November elections.

The Senate judiciary committee had subpoenaed the GOP-led county Board of Supervisors for the items. When the board initially resisted, citing legal concerns, the Senate threatened to hold the supervisors in contempt.

Boyer was the sole Republican to join Senate Democrats in voting against the contempt order, torpedoing an effort that could have landed the board’s four Republicans and one Democrat behind bars.

Boyer was in favor of auditing the results at first, but he’s since said it was a mistake for Senate President Karen Fann to hire Cyber Ninjas to lead the effort.

“I definitely think Republicans, independents, Democrats, everyone is looking at this with bemusement,” Boyer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show in May. He also told The New York Times the audit “makes us look like idiots” and “it’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”

Fann has said the aim of the process is to restore faith in the election system and find ways to improve Arizona’s voting laws, not to reverse the result of the election.

However, many Trump supporters see it as a step toward invalidating President Joe Biden’s victory and returning Trump to office.

Trump made multiple trips to Arizona during his unsuccessful reelection campaign, including for a Turning Point Action event at Phoenix’s Dream City Church in June 2020.

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