NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two Tennessee lawmakers held a prayer rally Wednesday timed to coincide with a protest in the nation’s Capitol in support of President Donald Trump.
Although speakers repeated the debunked claims that Joe Biden did not win the election, they focused on praying for the country and asked supporters to put their trust in God.
“We need to be praying for the truth to be revealed,” state Sen. Mark Pody, told a crowd of about 150 people outside of the state Capitol in Nashville after they listened to a broadcast of Trump’s speech in Washington.
State Rep. Bruce Griffey, a Republican from Paris, Tennessee, said he loves Biden voters but believes they are being deceived and led down a wrong path. He also suggested that many politicians on both sides of the isle are driven by greed and said the Republican party was due for a reckoning that would end up making it stronger. Griffey said he hoped Vice President Mike Pence would somehow prevent the certification of Biden as the next president.
“But if he doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. God is in control,” Griffey said before leading the crowd in chanting, “We love Trump! We love Trump!”
Attendees carried American flags and “Trump 2020” flags. At least two people carried flags with the logo “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president.”
Jamie Auerweck said she thought the election was stolen “without a doubt.” She said she stopped by the rally before she had to go to work because “the more people who are praying, the better off we will be.”
A small group of men in dressed in camouflage, some wearing bulletproof vests, stood on the periphery of the rally. One of the men, Taylor Coop, said they were there to “make sure things stay calm.” Other than a few horn honks and one passerby shouting “losers!” at the crowd, there were no confrontations in the mostly deserted downtown area.
Meanwhile, pro-Trump protesters gathered Wednesday at an intersection in Memphis to show support for the president. No violence or arrests were reported.
The mild Tennessee rallies stood in contrast to the wild scene at the U.S. Capitol where Trump supporters stormed the building, forcing the evacuation of lawmakers who had convened to confirm the Electoral College results.
Despite Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud, Republican and Democratic election officials in all fifty states have certified their results as fair and accurate.