Live blog: President Donald Trump visits Arizona for student rally

Jun 23, 2020, 3:32 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 5:22 am
donald trump dream city church...
Rally attendees settled into the Dream City Church in Phoenix hours before President Donald Trump's appearance on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (KTAR News Photo/Gabriel Gamino)
(KTAR News Photo/Gabriel Gamino)

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump’s second campaign event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is taking place Tuesday in Arizona.

He’s scheduled to stop in Yuma to survey the border wall and discuss border security before heading to a Phoenix megachurch to speak at the Students for Trump Convention.

The event at Dream City Church on Cave Creek Road north of Cactus Road was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m., and the president was expected to take the stage at 3:40 p.m.

Donald Trump Jr., Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and U.S. Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona are among the announced guest speakers.

Here’s the latest on Trump’s visit to the Grand Canyon State:

5:48 p.m.

President Donald Trump and his party have departed from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Trump spent more than six hours in Arizona.

5:04 p.m.

President Trump has concluded his speech at Dream City Church in north Phoenix.

4:42 p.m.

The Phoenix Police Department has deemed an unlawful assembly as protesters continue to gather outside Dream City Church in north Phoenix.

Sergeant Ann Justus of the Phoenix Police Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the unlawful assembly declaration was issued after two police officers were assaulted as protesters left the designated free speech zone.

Following the assaults, protesters began throwing objects at police officers, Justus said.

To disperse the crowd, officers deployed flash bangs and pepper balls into the ground. Pepper spray was also utilized.

Justus added that no gas or projectiles were fired into the crowd.

Zero arrests have been made in connection to Tuesday’s protests.

3:31 p.m.

President Donald Trump has taken the stage at Dream City Church to speak at his north Phoenix rally.

2:55 p.m.

Trump has arrived at Dream City Church for his rally.

Live speakers have begun at the rally.

2:17 p.m.

Donald Trump and his party have landed at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix ahead of this afternoon’s rally.

Trump, McSally and Lesko were met on the tarmac by Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels and Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman.

He is scheduled to speak at the Students for Trump Convention at 3:40 p.m.

1:29 p.m.

The president and his party are back on Air Force One for the 40-minute flight from Yuma to Phoenix.

1:15 p.m.

The convention got underway with a video message from Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier, followed by a video message from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona also appeared via video.

1:13 p.m.

The line outside Dream City Church dwindled as the 3,000-seat auditorium filled up.

The crowd of demonstrators in the free speech zone on Cave Creek Road, however, was growing larger.

12:59 p.m.

After examining wall construction, the president and his party headed back to the airport in Yuma so they could depart for Phoenix.

While at the wall, where he was joined by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen. Martha McSally and Rep. Debbie Lesko, among others, Trump signed metal plaque marking 200 miles of construction, according to pool reports.

The group walked around a little bit in 102 degree heat and listened to a guide while at the wall, which Trump called “really foolproof.”

12:11 p.m.

The roundtable discussion ended, and Trump headed to the wall construction zone around 15-20 minutes away.

11:20 a.m.

While Trump was in Yuma, the Dream City Church auditorium started filling up with people on hand to hear the president speak this afternoon.

More attendees were wearing MAGA hats than face masks, KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore reported from outside the church.

10:57 a.m.

Trump’s plane landed in Yuma, where the president will receive a briefing on wall construction and take part in a roundtable discussion with the local leaders and community members on border security.

The White House said Trump will be joined in Yuma by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan and other officials.

The president didn’t speak on the record to the media during the flight.

A breakfast of chicken and waffles was served, and TVs played Fox News, according to the pool reporter.

Two Arizona members of Congress, Sen. Martha McSally and Rep. Debbie Lesko, were among those aboard Air Force One.

10:39 a.m.

The Phoenix Police Department announced that two lanes of northbound Cave Creek Road near Sharon Drive will be restricted for the next few hours because of Trump’s visit.

Motorists in the area should expect heavy traffic or seek alternative routes.

8 a.m.

The size of the crowd outside Dream City Church was estimated to have grown to more than 1,000. The church auditorium hosting the event has about 3,000 seats. Organizers said they expected a crowd of 3,000-4,000 for the rally.

While the rally was billed a student convention, people of all ages were on hand.

6:23 a.m.

Trump spoke to reporters before the Marine One helicopter carried him to Air Force One for the flight to Arizona.

Here’s what he said about the trip, per pool reports:

“So we’re going to Arizona. We’re celebrating. We have over 200 miles of wall built. It’s been incredible. Our numbers on the border, as you know, are at just about a record-breaking low. People are not being able to cross the border. The wall is up, because we have more than 200 — we have about 212 miles up of wall. So that’s good.

“And we’re going to be doing a number of other things. We’re going to be making a speech to young people in Arizona, and we’ll be meeting with some of the Arizona officials to talk about their border and how strong it’s become. It’s become very strong.”

Shortly before 5 a.m.

Trump supporter Will Azar, in his early 20s, was the first in line at Dream City Church shortly.

“I want to hear from the president today that he hears loud and clear the silent majority, that we are concerned what’s going on, that we are against racism with all that is in us,” Azar said.

“And we want a country that’s not like it is now.”

Azar recently completed studies at motorcycle mechanics institute.

“We want to hear him say he knows what’s going on and he’s on it.”

Around 20 people had shown up by 5:10 a.m.

Tune to 92.3 FM, online or our app for the latest on President Trump’s visit to Arizona.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross, Taylor Kinnerup, Peter Samore and Gabriel Gamino contributed to this report.

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Live blog: President Donald Trump visits Arizona for student rally