President Donald Trump opened up his remarks at a campaign-style rally in Arizona with an attempt to diminish the number of protesters outside the venue opposing him.
“Just so you know from the Secret Service, there aren’t too many people outside protesting,” he said at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday night.
That was false. Thousands of people gathered in downtown Phoenix in Arizona for hours ahead of his rally to protest the president’s first political event after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Some Arizona lawmakers were hesitant to welcome Trump. Notably, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) implored the president to delay his visit so soon after the president remarked that “both sides” of protesters, including white supremacists and peaceful protesters, were responsible for the violence that killed one woman and grievously injured dozens in Charlottesville.
“America is hurting,” Stanton wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece published Monday. “And it is hurting largely because Trump has doused racial tensions with gasoline. With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match.”
Some people faced off with Trump supporters who stood behind police lines and barricades as they snaked their way through city blocks to enter the Convention Center. Although minor scuffles and shouting matches broke out, no arrests were made as of 6 p.m. local time. Protesters held signs opposing the Trump presidency and moved around peacefully outside the center. They also chanted slogans like “wrong side of history” and “walk of shame.”
Here are some scenes from the protest: