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Donald Trump plans return to Arizona for January rally in Florence

Donald Trump will return to Arizona in January for a rally in Florence, as the ex-president moves to insinuate himself in the state's politics ahead of the mid-term elections, including a fight over Sen. Mark Kelly's Senate seat. 

In a statement from his "Save America" political action committee, Trump announced that he will be in Florence on Jan. 15 at the Country Thunder Festival Grounds. 

The event is scheduled several days after a press conference that the ex-president scheduled on Jan. 6—the year anniversary of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when thousands of his supporters marched to Congress to halt the nation's election procedure, smashing windows, stealing furniture and computer equipment, and attacking Capitol Police officers. 

Fallout from the insurrection has included federal charges against dozens of Trump supporters, as well as a congressional investigation that remains ongoing. In fact, Trump aide Steve Bannon was found in contempt for defying the Jan. 6 probe, and that congressional committee has sought contempt charges against Mark Meadows, Trump's former White House chief of staff. 

Text messages presented by the committee show that Trump was aware of the mob's violence in the Capitol building, and that several people in Trump's orbit, including one of his sons, pushed the ex-president to speak out. Other messages show that members of Congress were "under siege" at the Capitol, and his vice president was ushered out under a protective detail. 

Thrown off Twitter and with Trump's own "social media platform" — which he ballyhooed — instead being aborted when it was mocked as nothing more than a basic blog, the ex-president has used his Save America PAC's email list to ceaselessly hammer at President Joe Biden and engage in conspiracy-mongering about his loss in the 2020 election. This has including his support of the so-called "audit" of the election results in Maricopa County, which eventually conceded that Trump might've actually lost by a slightly larger margin against Biden than originally thought. 

Trump even used his PAC to weigh in on the choice of an agriculture commissioner in Texas. 

Even without Twitter or the White House, Trump has moved to become a central part of Arizona's 2022 election, involving himself in the U.S. Senate campaign as Sen. Kelly strives for a full-term against a raft of Republican opponents, including Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Blake Masters. 

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In November, Trump called out Brnovich, pushing him to look at the the 2020 election, which he baselessly called "rigged and stolen." 

"People are very upset in Arizona that it is all taking so long, especially when the findings of the State Senate’s Forensic Audit were so conclusive," Trump claimed. 

In fact, after six months and $6 million, the audit found that Trump lost Arizona by 45,469 votes. Trump also has moved forward claiming that there were 35,000 "fictitious votes" in Pima County. 

"The people of Arizona are anxiously awaiting the decision of the attorney general," Trump claimed. 

During November, Trump also hosted a fundraiser at his resort for Republican Senate candidate Masters, and Kari Lake—a former Phoenix-area television reporter turned Republican candidate for governor. 

Trump also finds himself at odds with his own supporters over the vaccine. A week ago, he told a crowd of supporters that he received a booster against COVID-19, and faced a smattering of boos from his audience.

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

Former President Donald Trump during a rally in Tucson on October 19, 2020. Trump would go on to lose Arizona by more than 45,000 votes.

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