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Trump lands in Orange County; critics, supporters rally nearby

President Donald Trump’s visit to Orange County prompted loud supporters and detractors, but no violence, as thousands of people lined streets in and near Newport Beach Sunday without much more than verbal conflict.

Trump’s visit, to a fundraiser at the Lido Isle home of tech entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, was attended by about 1,300 people — all of whom were bused to the event. Most of the crowd wore masks; Trump reportedly did not. As Trump spoke, he was greeted by a friendly crowd on land and a small flotilla of supporters just offshore, including boats, Duffy boats and paddle boarders.

Trump, who landed in Orange County a bit before noon and spoke for about 40 minutes, reportedly told supporters that he would withhold federal money from John Wayne Airport if the airport’s name is changed. He also posed for photos with contributors, who donated up to $2,400 to the Trump presidential campaign or up to $150,000 per couple that could go to the Republican National Committee or GOP state groups.

The Trump group left the event by about 1:40 p.m. and reportedly left John Wayne less than an hour after that.

Though voter registration in the long-time Republican stronghold has flipped to favor Democrats, and Hillary Clinton won the county in 2016, Orange County remains a reliable source of campaign money and vocal support for GOP candidates, including Trump.

That’s particularly true in Newport Beach. Though Democrats hold a 3 percentage point advantage over Republicans in voter registration throughout Orange County, the GOP holds a much wider advantage — 47% versus 26% — in the city of Newport Beach.

That registration advantage seemed to manifest on the streets Sunday, as the crowd closer to the event seemed to most strongly support Trump.

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Here’s how much of the day played out:

See also: As Trump visits, presidential politics, beach culture collide in Newport

12:23 PM:

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12:02 PM: 

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11:54 AM:

Trump has landed and is heading to Newport Beach.

11:44 AM:

11:15 AM: About 1,000 people lined Via Lido early Sunday, along the route Trump’s likely route to the fundraiser.

Dozens of Newport Beach Police officers were on hand for crowd control, mostly moving to keep people on sidewalks.

Some chanted for peace and stopping the war against the small country of Artsakh. Many held American flags and chanted: “Stop finding ISIS” and “Recognize Artsakh” and “Shame on Turkey.”

Others held pro-Trump/Pence signs.

“It’s war on Armenia right now, “ said Maya Tokhalyan, of Burbank, who was among hundreds on the street representing her cause.

“We have big trouble with Turkey and Azarbajyan. Right now they are fighting against Artsakh, a small country of 250,000. There are terrorist from ISIS fighting in our country and violating our rights. We want to keep our land and defend our land.”

Tokhalyan said her group, which came mostly from greater Los Angeles, wants to make sure the American people are aware of their plight.

“We want Trump to help us stop the war and genocide killing our kids and innocent people.  We are in support of Trump and truly believe Trump will do his best to stop the war for a larger community in the U.S.”

Secret Service also were on hand to keep the crowd off Lido Island. Some island residents, on bikes and on foot, came to check out the growing crowd and chatted with police officers.

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10:45 AM Protesters – some who oppose Trump’s reelection and others hoping to call attention to recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan – planned to demonstrate Sunday morning on the road leading to Luckey’s home on a private island in Newport Harbor.

Some Trump supporters turned up near Luckey’s home in Newport Beach.

“I love America and Trump loves America,” said Phil Currie Sr., a retired Air Force veteran from La Jolla who came with his family to Newport Beach Sunday morning to encourage the president.

“I want to be here to support the man that made America what it is today.”

Currie, who served in the Air Force in the 1960s and said he is a descendant of one of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, added: “I want to give him a big thumbs-up.”

Meanwhile, Trump fans were urged to gather with signs and flags on Pacific Coast Highway about a half mile from where the protest was planned, in a spot the President’s motorcade would have to pass on the way to the fundraiser.

With just about two weeks left until the election, Trump’s campaign cash was reportedly lagging behind that of Democratic opponent Joe Biden, with the Trump campaign raising $247.8 million in September versus the Biden campaign’s haul of $383 million last month.

The story is developing. Check back regularly for updates. 

 

 


Source: Orange County Register

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