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The protester, Mark Leggiero, travelled to the state’s Capitol in Albany on Wednesday under the impression that he would be protesting President Biden’s inauguration alongside thousands of Trump supporters, according to Spectrum News reporter Morgan Mckay.
An image of Mr Leggiero standing alone in front of the Capitol while holding a Trump flag, went viral on Wednesday after Ms McKay shared it to her Twitter profile.
Mr Leggiero told NBC New York that he turned up to the state Capitol on Wednesday because he “wanted to be part of the Patriot Party, join supporters of Trump, y’know?”
Mark Leggiero is the one lone Trump supporter out in front of the NYS Capitol. He says he expected a few thousand ppl here and is disappointed. He said he drove 45 minutes for a peaceful protest pic.twitter.com/hDtCLYFpLq
— Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) January 20, 2021
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Mr Trump is considering the launch of his own political party to compete with the Republicans, named “The Patriot Party,” which Mr Leggiero was seemingly referencing.
Mr Leggiero expressed disappointment that he spent the day by himself outside of the Capitol, adding: “I was hoping that we’d have more supporters out here.”
Mr Trump and his supporters have spent the months since 3 November’s election refusing to accept President Biden’s victory and repeatedly falsely claiming that there was widespread fraud in the Democrats’ favour.
Mr Biden was confirmed by Congress as the 46th US president in the early hours of 7 January, and took the oath of office in Washington, DC at around noon on Wednesday.
Speaking to a photographer for the Daily Gazette, Mr Leggiero admitted that he was fighting for a lost cause by protesting Mr Biden’s inauguration.
“I was coming out to hopefully join a bunch of peaceful protesters in supporting the cause, that’s is almost a lost cause now, unfortunately, I’m sad to say,” he told the photographer on Wednesday.
However, Mr Leggiero added that Mr Trump will always be his president, saying: “He gave me spirit he gave me pride, he wanted me to live free.”
Mark Leggiero,28, is lone Trump supporters at the Capitol in Albany before noon, looking to hold a peaceful demonstration. “I’m looking for more patriots.” pic.twitter.com/qlFD1copWO
— Michael Gormley (@GormleyAlbany) January 20, 2021
At the time of writing, Ms McKay’s post has been retweeted more than 21,000 times, while it has amassed close to 120,000 likes.
Security in Washington, DC was strengthened for the inauguration, due to fears of violence sparked after a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol on 6 January.
Five people died and numerous more were injured in the riots, as Mr Trump was impeached by the House for a second time for his role in inciting the mob populated with his supporters.
The National Mall, often filled with supporters during the event, was closed to the public for the inauguration ceremony, as around 20,000 National Guard troops were called up to protect Mr Biden during the event.
Small protests of Trump supporters took place outside of state Capitols across the US on Wednesday as Mr Biden took the oath of office, but they were mostly low-key affairs and went ahead without the violence that many feared would materialise.
Images of lone Trump supporters in Sacramento, Maine and Tennessee were also shared on Twitter, while a protest by the Nevada state Capitol in Carson City drew just two demonstrators.