Trump tackles Orlando shooting, immigration at Greensboro rally
Posted June 14, 2016 4:54 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:04 p.m. EDT
GREENSBORO, N.C. — At least three protesters were removed from the Greensboro Coliseum as Donald Trump made his first public appearance in North Carolina in three months and his first since becoming the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee.
Trump took the stage just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, the same day as his 70th birthday. The first protester was removed from the venue about 30 minutes into Trump's speech. As the first two people were removed, Trump urged that nobody hurt them as they were escorted out.
Sources told WRAL News that some protesters were arrested, but the exact number was not confirmed.
The event comes a day after he delivered a speech in New Hampshire on national security and immigration in light of last weekend's mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 50 people dead. Trump vowed if elected to impose a broad ban on immigration from areas of the world with a history of terrorism.
Trump spent a majority of Tuesday's hour-long speech focusing on the same topics, referring to Orlando shooter Omar Mateen as a "radical Islamic terrorist" and criticizing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her plan to allow Syrian refugees into the country.
"We want to live in a country where all gay and lesbian Americans are safe from radical Islam," he said.
Trump also criticized Clinton for her stance on gun control and returned to his familiar refrain of building a wall along the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration.
"We want people coming into our country, but they have to come in legally," Trump said.
Many waiting in line to hear Trump speak to the maximum capacity crowd Tuesday night acknowledged that he has come under fire for comments he has made, but said that is actually why they support him. Many supporters believe Trump says what they are thinking.
"I believe he is the man that God has picked to save and make America great again and I'm just here showing support and I'm actually praying for him," said supporter Amanda Principe
"I like how honest he is. He doesn't hold back," said Lindsey Strand, who traveled from Rock Hill, South Carolina. "He says what's on his mind even though it might make some people mad. He speaks the truth."
One day after revoking the press credentials of the Washington Post, Trump also criticized reporters, referring to them as the "dishonest people in the back" of the room.
Trump last made an appearance in North Carolina on March 14 — the day before the North Carolina primary that he won over Ted Cruz and others.
Clinton recently announced she will also be paying a visit to North Carolina, with a stop in Raleigh next week. She is expected to deliver a major address on the economy during the visit, but the date and time for the event have not been released.