A venue in Orange Country, California, has abruptly cancelled plans to host a rally next week where Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) were set to speak. The rally was set to be part of the “America First” tour that the two controversial members of Congress started back in May with an event in Florida. Nick Dyer, a spokesperson for Greene, claimed to The Orange County Register on Friday that those involved were “very close to securing a location that will proudly host our America First Rally with Congresswoman Greene and Congressman Gaetz,” but it’s unclear whether they’ve been successful in attempting to find a new venue.
The California event had been set to take place at the Pacific Hills Banquet & Event Center on July 17. Javad Mirtavoosi, who serves as general manager for the location, told The Orange County Register when asked about the cancellation that those responsible for the premises “just want to stay clear of that.” Initially, he added, the venue expected a simple “gathering,” but “as soon as we found out who the speakers were we immediately canceled it,” he also explained. Asked about whether he or the venue were politically at odds with Gaetz and Greene — and whether the venue had received phone calls about the planned event — Mirtavoosi declined to get into specifics. “We just thought it would be best for our facility to cancel,” he said.
Gaetz and Greene have both supported the conspiracy theory that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden, despite the total lack of meaningful evidence for this notion. Meanwhile, Gaetz has been under federal criminal investigation for issues including his potential involvement in child sex trafficking. Joel Greenberg, a Gaetz associate, has pleaded guilty to crimes including child sex trafficking and is currently in the process of providing information apparently relevant to ongoing investigations to authorities. Greenberg recently requested a delay in his sentencing so that he could continue his cooperation with investigators.