Reawaken America Tour coverage

Claire Goforth

‘We’re raising some money here’: Inside the pro-Trump ReAwaken America Tour where Pizzagate is still a thing—and Roger Stone talks Israel

‘Oh wait, he’s not actually our commander-in-chief because they cheated like hell.’


Claire Goforth


Daryl Perry


This weekend, hundreds of faithful gathered in Miam for the ReAwaken America Tour. The event at the Trump National Doral Resort featured a handful of MAGA world stars alongside a slew of lesser-knowns and merchants hawking cures, supplements, and schwag. It was equal parts cash grab and evangelical church service with an unhealthy dose of tired conspiracy theories.

For two days, far-right activists, pastors, politicians and conspiracy theorists came together determined to instill Christian values back into America, one prayer and spiritual rallying cry at a time—and hopefully make a quick buck while they were at it. Many who spoke asked for donations, many for legal fees for their various lawsuits and indictments. On Saturday, Roger Stone, who at one point waxed philosophic about the redeeming power of Christ, collected money in a paper bag from dozens of supporters eager for a photo op with the man whose political entanglements and scandals go back to the Nixon era. A man clad in an American flag suit held the money bag.

The ReAwaken America Tour was created by disgraced former General Michael Flynn and businessman Clay Clark a few months after the Capitol riot. On the event’s website, Clark writes that he “felt called by God to expose ‘the COVID-19/Great Reset’ agenda,” which he says is “being pushed by Bill Gates, Klaus Schwab, George Soros, China, and other elite globalists that hate God and America.”

Years after mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine hysteria, the tour is still playing that same song, reaching into the same wallets, and serving up heaping helpings of Christianity while urging attendees to dump their savings into gold and silver on the unfounded belief that the United States is permanently doing away with cash to mandate digital currency that will enable the government to track the entirety of our spending. One speaker lamented in apparent seriousness that this will mean you won’t be able to give a dollar or some change to a talented street performer.

After beginning with the rhetorical fireworks of MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, much of the content on the first day of the ReAwakenTour was filler that consisted of seemingly endless hymnals that had a few on their feet, swaying back and forth with their arms stretched toward the heavens. Far more people spent these lengthy performances on their phones, milling about aimlessly, or staring blithely into space.

At the end of the 12-hour day, the day’s headliner, Eric Trump, was introduced with a brief speech touting him as “the most subpoenaed man in America,” a twist on a line his father rolled out nearly a year ago. Onstage, the younger Trump trotted out the same lies about a stolen election that his entire family has been repeating ad nauseam for nearly four years and framed the current state of America in dystopian terms.

Trump began by congratulating himself on making it up the stairs without tripping, a reference to President Joe Biden stumbling on stairs at a rally earlier that day.

Realizing he’d referred to Biden as the president multiple times, he quickly backtracked. “Oh wait, he’s not actually our commander-in-chief because they cheated like hell,” Trump lied. “He’s the so-called commander-in-chief. He didn’t win this election. There’s no way he won this election. You guys know that.”

People with lanyards identifying them as speakers, VIPs, and media seated near the Daily Dot obliged the former president’s middle son by clapping politely.

The media members who were there appeared to be exclusively right-wing podcasters and bloggers sympathetic, if not supportive, of the cause. Many who wore media lanyards were decked out in the same hyper-patriotic regalia as attendees and cheered and jeered at all the same lines as the audience. The ReAwaken America Tour has a thorny relationship with traditional press and has been known to kick out press it believes will give it unfavorable coverage. It’s also not clear how to request a media badge, so the Daily Dot bought a general admission ticket.

Trump then launched into a soliloquy about all of America looking like the resort where the event was held, which his father purchased for $150 million a decade ago. He somehow used this as a segue into the Israel-Palestine war. (Israeli flags were displayed prominently throughout the event.) He then blamed America for not predicting Hamas’ attack on Israel and derided our military, which didn’t appear to faze the “patriots” in the crowd.

Reawaken America Tour 2023
Claire Goforth

As bizarre as some of the speeches were—on Saturday Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin went on a tear about an artist mixing “semen, urine, and breast milk”—the ReAwaken America Tour was so dull it was almost impressive. Checked-out attendees slumped in the few chairs available in the lobby where they couldn’t hear what was being said or sung onstage. Others wandered the property or simply lingered outside in the Florida swelter that was a welcome reprieve from the arctic temperature of the conference hall.

Near the end of Friday’s programming a vendor laughed in the bathroom that getting into an infrared heater for 20 minutes was “the highlight of my day.” On Saturday afternoon, one of the speakers was spotted alone at an onsite bar despondently downing liquor like a man wishing he could escape through the bottom of the glass.

The ReAwaken America Tour in Miami did a better job of putting some people to sleep than it did waking them up.

Maybe they’re just getting tired of the same tired tropes about Satanic plots and child trafficking. After all, Mike Flynn’s clownhouse version of MAGA has been playing the same tune since he ascended to become the hero of QAnon six years ago.

The turnout and energy at the ReAwaken America Tour at Trump Doral suggested that fewer people are listening.

Just last year, PBS wrote that Flynn was recruiting an “Army of God.” He’s still using that same red, white, and blue microphone as he brandished then, but his army appeared dead on its feet this weekend in Miami.

It is possible that the lackluster event was an anomaly. Just last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that a far more boisterous version of the tour held in Las Vegas in August melded “the MAGA movement, election denial, QAnon conspiracy theories, and doomsday prophecy.”

All of that was present in Florida, but there was nowhere near the level of energy it’s known for—nor did Trump himself appear as the Times reported Clark had intimated might be possible. If he had, perhaps they would’ve needed more than the lone person sitting at a table at the entrance throughout much of the weekend, scarcely looking up as people streamed in and out of the open door. Maybe they also wouldn’t have tried to convince people to attend by promising that they could name their own price, as it did mere days prior to the event.

ReAwaken might have been a dud this time, but the looming 2024 election, particularly if Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination as expected, could provide future events with a fresh batch of recruits.

Is MAGA waking up or falling asleep?

Going to the ReAwaken America tour is like entering a time capsule to the Trump presidency and the grievance that characterized its aftermath.

Conspiracist Crokin brought up Pizzagate, the thoroughly debunked 2016 theory about a trafficking ring run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C. restaurant, multiple times. Speaker after speaker complained about COVID restrictions and espoused vaccine conspiracy theories. More than one espoused the benefits of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, both of which have proven ineffective to treat the virus.

Reawaken America Tour 2023
Claire Goforth

Mark Sherwood, a self-described naturopathic doctor who does not hold a medical license, advised attendees on how to survive the virus. Marty Grisham of Loud Mouth Prayer led a prayer for people who have been “deceived” by the “COVID-19 narrative.” Chiropractor Bryan Ardis spoke on “100% effective and affordable” treatments.

Naturopathic “doctor” Janna Schmidt, who is also not a medical doctor, led a session on how to avoid being killed by the virus. Christiane Northrup, a former OB/GYN, spoke on the negative impacts of COVID vaccines. Another speaker, Ian Smith, who’s known for keeping his gym open during the pandemic, spoke on fighting for personal rights. Smith has made antisemitic remarks and posted a meme on Twitter denying the Holocaust.

Some among the crowd ate it up. Others yawned.

ReAwaken America is currently branded as “The Great Awakening” versus “The Great Reset.” It postures current and former tour speakers—such as Pastor Greg Locke, Lara Trump, Flynn, and Lindell—against World Economic Forum (WEF) head Schwab, billionaire Holocaust survivor George Soros, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and Barack Obama, among other favorite villains of the far-right.

The Great Awakening is a nod to QAnon rhetoric. The Great Reset is an initiative put forward by the WEF, with goals of sustainable development, including reforming aspects of daily life “from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

In previous years, the tour attracted much larger crowds than it did in Florida this weekend. PBS reported that 3,000 turned out for its October 2022 stop in Batavia, New York—a town of just 15,000. A year later, the event in Miami, which has a population of roughly 450,000 and is a short drive from Trump HQ Mar-a-Lago, attracted about half as many.

There were some conspicuous absences at the ReAwaken Tour in Florida.

After delivering opening remarks, Mike Lindell seemed to vanish from the event, leaving fans to pose for selfies with a lifelike cardboard cutout of him propped up next to a trash can.

Reawaken America Tour 2023
Claire Goforth

On Saturday, one of the podcasters streaming from the event actually asked the Lindell cut-out what it thought about the war between Israel and Palestine. They then pointed to a supposed “prayer circle” or “exorcism” forming in the hallway. The line of people led to the bathrooms.

Former President Obama’s estranged half-brother Malik Obama was originally slated to speak. His Wednesday post on X, “I stand with Palestine,” seems to have led them to rescind his invitation. Conspiracy theorist Ann Vandersteel tartly quote-tweeted him, “Looks like we won’t be seeing you at the #ReawakenAmerica event this weekend in Miami. Thank you for showing us who you really are.”

In a nod to the naturalist-to-QAnon pipeline, there were multiple booths and speeches dedicated to health and wellness, albeit with a conspiratorial twist.

Janna Schmidt warned, falsely, that the radiation from cell phones reduces sperm count by 70%. One amusing device for sale on the merchandise floor was a vibrating platform people were invited to stand on. The sellers said it would clear out your lymphatic system and help you lose weight. They made the incredulous promise that 10 minutes of those vibrations were the equivalent of multiple times that time actually exercising.

Near the end of the event, the Daily Dot overheard them trying to sell the display devices at a discounted price.

Aside from the bathroom “exorcism,” there were a few moments of high drama.

On Friday, presenter Kimberly Overton implored attendees to call a hospital to urge it not to remove a young girl from her parents’ care, which she called “medical kidnapping.” Several people in the crowd pulled out their phones and appeared to call the number displayed on her slide, which is supposedly that of the hospital where the girl is purportedly being treated.

On an episode of Overton’s podcast earlier in the week, a woman identified as the child’s mother claimed that the 4-year-old had an infection doctors said might kill her. The woman said she and her husband wanted to decline care because it might expose the girl to spike proteins from the COVID vaccine.

Unfounded claims about the dangers of spike proteins have been circulating since the earliest days of the vaccine. Although these theories have long been debunked, spike proteins were big news at ReAwaken America.

Reawaken America Tour 2023
Claire Goforth

COVID was far from the only recycled conspiracy theory featured at the event. Saturday headliner Kash Patel, who worked for the Trump administration, brought up the old chestnut of Russiagate. Multiple speakers rehashed election fraud lies from 2020. Several also insisted that Michelle Obama is running for president in 2024, a conspiracy theory that’s been floating around for years without merit.

Current events did slide into the itinerary at times. Support for Israel ran high. Roger Stone was among several who brought up the current controversy surrounding Republicans’ efforts to select the next Speaker of the House. “I praise Matt Gaetz for showing McCarthy the door and I say to you it’s time to take Mitch McConnell with him,” Stone declared, to applause.

Such topics took far less of the limelight than rehashed conspiracy theories and advice on getting rich. The former played fairly well to the mostly older, white crowd. The latter drew significantly less interest. After enduring endless pleas for donations and offers to buy a dizzying array of widgets and memberships, perhaps the audience wasn’t exactly convinced that the people onstage were qualified to administer financial advice. One speaker shared this nugget of wisdom someone supposedly told him long ago: “Buy real estate from emotional people,” such as people going through a divorce. A flier placed on seats featured actor-turned-conspiracy theorist Jim Caviezel tantalizing people with promises about “how you can rescue a child & earn $10K monthly.” For just $12.99 per month.

Reawaken America Tour 2023
Claire Goforth

More than once, attendees were encouraged to convert their retirement accounts into gold and silver to save themselves from the fictitious plot to force Americans to convert to digital-only currency.

During one of his many appearances onstage, Flynn told the audience to visit his website or follow him on X to support his many endeavors.

“I’m taking these people to the bank,” he said. “…I’m going to go after them this way through the fiscal domain by making sure you people and the folks that become part of this really understand what it is that we’re facing and then you’ve gotta make decisions about what you can do about it.”

Most people at the ReAwaken America Tour seemed more inclined to buy a Trump T-shirt, pose with cardboard Mike Lindell, or take a whirl on that vibrating platform than to invest another dime in whatever Flynn was selling.

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The Daily Dot