At last year’s American Priority Festival and Conference, a macabre video that superimposed President Donald Trump’s face on a figure shooting the president’s perceived political opponents in a mass killing spree, reported on by The New York Times, caused outrage. This year, the AMP festival, unhindered by the global coronavirus pandemic, will feature a who’s who of right-wing and far-right speakers, all gathered together at the Trump National Doral Miami Oct. 8-11.
The “YUGE lineup”—their words, not ours—includes returning speakers, such as far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, convicted felon Roger Stone, whose sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump, and far-right activist and One America News Network figure Jack Posobiec, who pushed the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, according to an organizer’s email Monday.
Anti-Muslim activist and right-wing conspiracy theorist Laura Loomer will also return to the stage. After winning the GOP nomination to represent Florida’s 21st Congressional District in the U.S. House in August, Loomer received Trump’s congratulations as she rubbed shoulders with a series of far-right figures at her victory party. Failed congressional candidate and QAnon conspiracy theorist DeAnna Lorraine, who recently accused Trump of “taking his base for granted” by wearing a mask, is another featured speaker. (We’ll see how many COVID-19 cases come out of this year’s festival.)
George Papadopoulos—who went to federal prison for making false statements to FBI agents about the timing of his contact with Russian intermediaries in 2016—will return to Trump Doral as well. Last year, Papadopolous spoke on an “Unmasking the Russian Hoax” panel, while his wife Simona Papadopolous held a swimsuit fashion show during the pool party portion of the festival.
Described as “Four days of God, country, and MAGA at the spectacular Trump National Doral resort in Miami, FL,” the conference promises “everything you could want in a patriot event.” And in case that description doesn’t excite you, the email promotes a golf tournament for an additional cost, a “MAGA pool party”—which no doubt means more patriotic swimsuits—and even spa deals:
AMP is also hosting a celebrity golf tournament on the world-famous Blue Monster course with net proceeds benefiting the American Priority Foundation! Come play golf with some of the most patriotic names in sports, TV, and politics. Tournament entry is $500 and available as an option when you register. This makes a great gift for those golf fans!
AMP is also hosting a screening of Dinesh D’Souza’s blockbuster new film ‘Trump Card’, shooting a music video for a brand new patriot anthem by Alex Jordan, kicking off with a MAGA pool party, and hosting many surprise special guests.
The festival and conference was conceived as a pro-Trump, millennial-focused alternative to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held in Washington, D.C., by Ali Alexander, a right-wing political operative, and Alex Phillips, a conservative donor who owns a small telecom company in Virginia. Alexander—who previously went by Ali Akbar and who has ties to far-right figures such as Unite the Right white supremacist attendee Matt Colligan—has recently floated the idea of revamping a 2018 effort discredit mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 presidential election, dispatching Trump supporters to places where ballots are being counted. Posobiec, who helped announce the first AMP festival in 2018, also promoted Alexander’s latest ploy to discredit mail-in voting.
The first AMP festival, held in 2018 in Washington, D.C., was effectively a flop, with one speaker even canceling after seeing the dismal turnout. Last year’s event, held in Doral, managed to attract more attendees but not quite the millennial and Gen Z crowd that was intended. Though younger conservatives were in attendance, the event attracted plenty of Generation X and baby boomer attendees, featuring such groups as the graying “Bikers for Trump.” Millennial MAGA stars were featured, including the Deplorable Choir, Ricky Rebel, a singer-songwriter known for being unapologetically both pro-Trump and gay, and right-wing activist Scott Presler.
It also ironically prevented reporters from covering its events—centered around the concept of free speech and the First Amendment—by allowing only “invited” media, barring Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt from entry. In 2018, Alexander had explained the “invite only” policy this way: “Frankly, any press reporter who writes a hit piece on us is not getting a press credential.”
An Aug. 7 email promises panels with “leading experts on Medical Tyranny, Tech Censorship, Educational Freedom, The China Threat, Pandemic Response, and much more!” Last year, speakers peddled conspiracy theories and called for civil war. After coverage of the events and the crude video by the New York Times, ProPublica, and other outlets, AMP temporarily took down its page.
As Right Wing Watch reported last year, “The conference could have been dismissed as a meeting of the fringe, but big-ticket speakers like Don Trump Jr. and Sarah Huckabee Sanders lent legitimacy to the conference, as did more respectable Republican groups like the Leadership Institute, which held a series of trainings in side rooms.” While AMP 2020 has yet to secure high-profile Trump administration or Trump family speakers, its location at the Trump Doral and the degree of coziness Trump has gotten with such formerly fringe figures say enough.