President Donald Trump arrives at Sky Harbor ahead of Mesa rally

Oct 18, 2018, 9:32 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2018, 8:45 am

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump has landed at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Thursday, one day before he was scheduled to hold a campaign rally in the East Valley for Senate hopeful Martha McSally and other Republican candidates.

Air Force One arrived from Missoula, Montana just before 9:30 p.m., where the president held a rally earlier in the night.

Trump’s Friday rally will be held at International Air Response at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa.

Doors will open for the event at 3:30 p.m., three hours before the president is scheduled to take the stage.

Patrick Ptak and Daniel Scarpinato, spokesmen for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, confirmed that Ducey would speak during the event at International Air Response at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. They did not provide specifics.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs was also scheduled to speak at the event in Mesa.

McSally will also accompany Trump on a visit to Luke Air Force Base in the West Valley ahead of Friday’s rally. U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko was scheduled to deliver remarks during at the base.

The president will start his day at a roundtable with a group of supporters and then speak at a fundraising luncheon. Those events are scheduled to be private and held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Det. Steve Berry with the Mesa Police Department said officers have been preparing for the event well ahead of time to ensure attendees’ safety.

“Our overall goal is public safety, event safety. We’re going to be out there,” Berry said.

“If people want to express their opinions, we’re great with that, we’re just not going to allow any criminal or assaultive-type behavior.”

The campaign event will be the president’s first since he visited Phoenix last year. His Aug. 22, 2017 rally at the Phoenix Convention Center ended after officers used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters.

The Phoenix Police Department later said its officers were responding to bottles and rocks being thrown at them.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a class-action lawsuit last month against the city for the police department’s actions that night, alleging officers violated the protesters’ First Amendment rights.

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President Donald Trump arrives at Sky Harbor ahead of Mesa rally