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“Hey there, all of you happy warrior freedom fighters,” Ms. Blackburn said. “We’re glad you’re there standing up for the Constitution, for liberty, for justice.”
The rally had been planned by Women for America First, which was quietly becoming the closest thing Mr. Trump had to a political organizing force, gathering his aggrieved supporters behind the lie of a stolen election.
The group’s founder, Amy Kremer, had been one of the original Tea Party organizers, building the movement through cross-country bus tours. She had been among the earliest Trump supporters, forming a group called Women Vote Trump along with Ann Stone, ex-wife of the longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.
With donors including the Trump-affiliated America First Policies, Women for America First had rallied support for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and defended Mr. Trump during his first impeachment.
The group’s executive director was Ms. Kremer’s daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, who recently worked on Sean Hannity’s radio show. Two organizers helping the effort, Jennifer Lawrence and Dustin Stockton, were close to Mr. Bannon, having worked at Breitbart and then at his nonprofit seeking private financing to help complete Mr. Trump’s border wall. (In August, federal prosecutors accused Mr. Bannon of defrauding the nonprofit’s donors, after an investigation that included a raid of Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Stockton’s motor home; they were not implicated, and Mr. Bannon, who pleaded not guilty, was later pardoned by the president.)
A onetime organizer for the hard-line Gun Owners of America, according to his LinkedIn page, Mr. Stockton had come to know members of the Three Percenters militia group. He had an online newsletter, Tyrant’s Curse, whose credo was, “A well-armed and self-reliant populace, who take personal responsibility and put their faith in God, can never be oppressed and will never be ruled.” One post featured a photo from the Dec. 12 rally — Mr. Stockton posing with several Three Percenter “brothers” in military-grade body armor.
Ms. Lawrence had personal ties to Mr. Trump. Her father was a real estate broker in the Hudson Valley, where Mr. Trump has a golf club and his sons have a hunting ranch. “He’s done business with Mr. Trump for over a decade, so I’ve had the opportunity of meeting the president and interacting with him on a lot of occasions,” she said in an interview. She also knew Mr. Flynn through their mutual association with a conservative think tank, she said.
Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠