Air Force base warns service members to avoid ‘patriot’ rally with speaker from pro-Trump group

Air Force base warns service members to avoid ‘patriot’ rally with speaker from pro-Trump group

The leadership at an Air Force base in North Dakota sent a text message to service members to warn them of the dangers of being near a downtown rally that featured a speaker from a pro-Trump organization.

“Leaders, please exercise caution if downtown this weekend,” reads the text message that was sent to Minot Air Force Base personnel, adding that anyone who was thinking about going downtown should “be careful” and “reach out for any concerns.”

At issue was a planned Nov. 17 event dubbed the “Dakota Patriot Rally” at the state fairgrounds in Minot, and the text warned personnel “to be cautious” if they were in the area, especially because some rally-goers “could be confrontational to military members.” The text, which was shared with the popular “Air Force amen/nco/snco” Facebook page, also noted that the event would feature a guest speaker from Turning Point Action, which the warning noted is an “alt-right” organization.

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Turning Point Action, a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 2019, typically promotes conservative values and has a history of support for former President Donald Trump.

Though the group has attracted controversy for questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, it has become a mainstay in conservative political circles. According to a report from the New York Times, the group’s July 2023 ACTCON conference in Florida drew about 6,000 attendees and included speaking engagements by Trump and about a third of Republican presidential candidates who were declared at the time.

The Dakota Patriot Rally speaker about whom the text warned was Turning Point Action Chief Operating Officer Tyler Bowyer, according to the event website, which noted Bowyer is a “conservative activist” who worked in several political positions before joining Turning Point USA.

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The text message to members at Minot Air Force Base warned “that participation with groups such as Turning Point Action could jeopardize their continued service in the U.S. military.

Minot Air Force Base and the Air Force did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

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The text message also alludes to a shooting that happened in Minot on Nov. 17, noting that it is “unclear if it was related” to the Dakota Patriot Rally. According to the Minot Daily News, that shooting happened in northwest Minot and resulted in a 29-year-old man being hospitalized while a suspect fled the scene. The state fairgrounds where the Dakota Patriot Rally took place is in the far eastern portion of the city.

Fox News Digital reached out to the detective in charge of investigating the shooting but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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