Trump plans Iowa rally in days before Democratic caucuses

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By Shannon Pettypiece and Monica Alba and Maura Barrett and Marianna Sotomayor  with NBC News Politics
Donald Trump
The pre-caucuses rally is slated to be Trump's fourth in January.   -   Copyright  Nati Harnik AP file

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is planning an Iowa rally in the days before the Democratic caucuses there, according to people familiar with the plans.

The event is expected to be held Jan. 30 in Des Moines, according to one of those people.

The Trump campaign is also planning to send several prominent surrogates to the state in the coming weeks. Those visits, which were to begin at the end of next week, could include White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, another person familiar with the planning said. Donald Trump Jr. is also expected to head to Iowa near the end of the month, a person close to the president's eldest son said.

The effort is intended to help Trump push back against a wave of attacks by his Democratic rivals as they battle for their party's nomination. While Trump won Iowa by 10 points in 2016, former President Barack Obama won the state by nearly 6 points in 2012.

Trump's campaign schedule has been picking up steam in recent weeks; the Iowa rally is to be his fourth in January, following previously announced rallies in Milwaukee on the night of the next Democratic debate, in Toledo, Ohio, and in Wildwood, New Jersey.

The Iowa counterprogramming by a presidential incumbent isn't an entirely new idea: former President Ronald Reagan made a stop in the state shortly before the Democratic caucuses during his 1984 re-election campaign.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report Trump's Iowa rally.