Former US President Donald Trump will hold a rally on Saturday in Ohio, his first since his supporters' deadly attack on the Capitol, as he aims to bolster allies, berate his enemies and cement his influence over the Republican Party.
While Trump has made speeches at Republican events since his election defeat by Joe Biden, the rally in a state he carried in the 2020 election marks a return to the kind of freewheeling mass gatherings that have been critical to retaining the support of his base.
It also marks the start of his public events lashing out at elected Republicans who he views as having crossed him.
He will campaign for former White House aide Max Miller, who has launched a primary challenge against Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol.
Trump has vowed to campaign against all 10. He has also endorsed a challenger to Senator Lisa Murkowski, the only one of the seven Senate Republican who voted to convict him in his January impeachment trial who is up for re-election in 2022.
Democrats' razor-thin majorities in both chambers of Congress will be on the line in the 2022 midterm elections and history favors Republicans' chances of gaining seats in those contests.
The Ohio event will be the first of three public appearances, followed by a trip to the US-Mexico border with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 30 and a rally in Sarasota, Florida, on July 3.
In a recent statement Trump's Save America PAC said the Ohio rally would be the first of a series of events "in support of candidates and causes that further the MAGA agenda and accomplishments" of the former Trump administration.
Trump is expected to criticize Biden for his handling of immigration, the economy and other key policy issues, while also repeating false claims that he lost the election due to widespread fraud. Those assertions have been resoundingly rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of Trump's own administration.
Republican strategist Matt Dole said both Trump and those vying to stay close to him benefited from such public displays of bonhomie. Some of the candidates now seeking his endorsement have made disparaging comments about Trump in the past.
"These are marriages of convenience," said Dole, who is based in Ohio. "Donald Trump is using these opportunities to keep his name out there, to keep the base motivated."