President Donald Trump faces political headwinds as he
seeks to reclaim Michigan in 2020 but will enter Thursday
night's re-election rally in Grand Rapids with at least one
major legal threat behind him.
The first-term Republican has appeared reinvigorated in
recent days after confirmation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did not establish collusion between
Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russian government that
interfered in the election.
While it may be premature — Mueller stopped short of
exonerating the president on possible obstruction of justice,
and his full report has not been made public — experts predict Trump will tout the news in his first public rally since the
report's summary release.
The president will do so in front of thousands of supporters
at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, a city where he
capped his 2016 campaign with a raucous late-night rally and prediction of a victory few pundits had thought possible.
Like the president, Trump's supporters “feel vindicated” by
U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the
Mueller report, said GOP strategist John Sellek.
‘It’s given them a huge boost of energy moving forward. So certainly, you’d expect the president to celebrate while he’s
here in a state he needs to win again in 2020.”
While critics are calling for release of the full Mueller report,
“I think Republicans are feeling emboldened by the results”
of the summary, said Democratic strategist T.J. Bucholz.
“And I think that in a state like Michigan, that’s going to be
such a battleground, that’s going to be a message we’re going
to see from the Republican Party and from the president here.”
The visit will be Trump's 18th rally in Michigan and his sixth
in the Grand Rapids area since he began his campaign for
president in June 2015, according to his campaign. It will be Trump's first trip to Michigan since April 2018 when he rallied
in Washington Township instead of attending the annual
White House Correspondents Association Dinner.