Last Friday, Rep. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene held a “America First” mini-rally of sorts in the Trump-stronghold retirement community The Villages, and like just about every Trump event there was a big dumb vehicle with a bunch of pseudo patriotic mush, and weirdly photoshopped images of the former president with muscles.
The only difference was this particular “Trump Train” bus featured a giant image of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with a QAnon brooch, and now Buckingham Palace is upset about it.
The bus, which is owned by North Carolina resident Bobby Hall, has actually featured the Queen’s mug on it for well over a year, but according to Buzzfeed a palace spokesperson says they are now very aware of it , and that “representations asking for [the photo’s] removal have been made.”
Greetings from The Villages, Florida. pic.twitter.com/4pBTUrHZdP— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) May 7, 2021
Despite not being officially affiliated with any political candidate, the bus was a constant fixture at Trump campaign events during the 2020 election cycle. An image posted to the official Trump Train Facebook page shows Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, posing in front of the bus with Hall in July.A spokesperson for Gaetz, who is currently under investigation for sex crimes with a minor, told the publication that they have nothing to do with the bus, and they’re not concerned about it. “You do know what a meme is right?,” said Gaetz spokesperson Harlan Hill.
The latest iteration of the bus, as seen in Florida last week, boosts an as-yet-unannounced 2024 campaign for Trump and former vice president Mike Pence. Trump has spent the months since his election loss lying about the results, insisting without evidence that the election had been stolen and raging at any Republicans who don't go along, including Pence. Gaetz and Greene, who led the Florida rally, are both close Trump allies — at the rally, both Republicans declared Trump the reigning leader of their party.
The good news is Hall recently posted to Facebook that he planned on redoing the bus soon anyway. “The 2020 [bus] is getting the wrap all taken off and a new complete wrap installed in 2 weeks,” wrote Hall, “taking TRAITOR PENCE OFF replacing with DESANTIS, Candace Owens Don Junior Laura Trump General Flynn Rand Paul and many others.”
This post originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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