President Trump supporters, protesters gather ahead of his Phoenix rally

EMBED </>More Videos

President Donald Trump arrived in Yuma, Arizona Tuesday to visit troops and look at ways of combating illegal immigration before holding a rally in Phoenix later in the evening. (AP Photo/Matt York)

President Donald Trump arrived in Yuma, Arizona Tuesday to visit troops and look at ways of combating illegal immigration before holding a rally in Phoenix later in the evening.

WATCH LIVE: President Donald Trump speaks in Arizona

During his visit to Yuma, he stopped at a Marine Corps base that is a hub of operations for the U.S. Border Patrol. He looked at equipment used on the southern border, including a drone and boat.

After the tour, the president greeted service members in the 106-degree heat and signed "Make America Great Again" hats as well as took photos.

RELATED: Trump's Afghanistan plan has mixed implications, experts say

In Phoenix, Trump supporters lined up for his first western campaign rally since becoming president. Many of his supporters said they made the trip from Southern California.

"Honestly, I love the man so much that I would take a bullet for him because his life is more important to me than my own life," Riverside resident Elizabeth McCright.

Placentia resident Mike Tucker said his mother is mad that he came, especially after the president's controversial comments about Charlottesville that suggested there were "good people" on both sides of the violent protests there.

"I don't have one racist bone in my body, and I don't believe the president of the United States does either," he said.

Phoenix police are at full staffing in an attempt to keep the peace between potential protesters and supporters during the rally.

RELATED: Lawmakers praised and condemn Trump's Afghanistan plan

Chief Jeri Williams said the department has been working 24-7 since Trump announced his visit.

Senators Jeff Flake, a vocal Trump critic, and John McCain, who recently voted against the Republican health care bill may become targets during Trump's rally.

One Trump supporter held up a sign saying McCain was a traitor.

"He committed treason against the country and against the GOP," she said.

Protesters who were already at the location said it's Trump who is disrespecting the Constitution.

"He's ignorant. He's a racist. His past shows racism. His daddy was a racist," Phoenix resident Andre Jenkins said.

The protest got underway around 4 p.m. The actual rally will not start until 7 p.m. and it appeared that some events were running behind schedule so the rally may not start on time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on President Donald Trump.

Related Topics:
politicsPresident Donald Trumpimmigrationimmigration reformmarinesmilitaryrallyprotestcharlottesville demonstrationsrepublicansArizona
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments