President Donald Trump looking to return to Phoenix for rally this month
PHOENIX – President Donald Trump is looking to return to Phoenix this month for a campaign rally, a little more than a year after police and protesters clashed following his last appearance in the city.
Jen Yee, assistant executive director with the Arizona Exposition and State Fair, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday that Trump’s camp has asked about using Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum later this month, but no date was set.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said they were aware of a visit but would not provide further details, referring inquiries to the White House press office.
Trump’s press office didn’t respond to requests for information.
Last month, Trump’s camp reached out to the fairgrounds and Phoenix Convention Center about visiting this week, but the venues couldn’t accommodate him.
The president can be expected to campaign for U.S. Senate hopeful Martha McSally and other Republican candidates during the visit. McSally is in a tough battle with fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to replace Republican Jeff Flake, who didn’t seek re-election.
The seat is key to the Democrats’ efforts to take control of the Senate, which would be a major blow to the Trump administration.
Trump previously has expressed his support of McSally as well as Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who is facing a challenge from Democrat David Garcia in the Nov. 6 general election.
After Trump appeared Aug. 22, 2017, at the Convention Center, Phoenix police used tear gas and pepper spray to disburse protesters. Police said they were responding to bottles and rocks being thrown at them.
Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a class-action lawsuit against the city for the police department’s actions that night.
The lawsuit on behalf of four individuals and two community organizations alleged that protesters had their First Amendment rights violated by police.
“At least hundreds of people still there were peacefully protesting, and Phoenix police, with no reason, came out with tear gas, pepper spray, projectile weapons and fired them into the crowd,” Kathy Brody, ACLU of Arizona legal director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday, when the suit was filed.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood and Nailea Leon contributed to this report.