Trump lands in Orange County; critics, supporters rally nearby

 ocregister.com  10/18/2020 19:00:27   Alicia Robinson | arobinson@scng.com and Erika I. Ritchie | eritchie@scng.com | The Orange County Register

With President Donald Trump slated to spend part of the day in Orange County at a private fundraiser in Newport Beach, supporters and critics gathered in public spaces to voice their views.

Though voter registration in the long-time Republican stronghold has flipped to favor Democrats, and Hillary Clinton won the county in 2016, Orange County remains a reliable source of campaign money and vocal support for GOP candidates, including Trump.

  • Trump supporters with special clearance greet President Trump as he lands at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Sunday, October 18, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Trump supporters watch as Air Force One lands at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Sunday, October 18, 2020. The President is in Orange County for a fundraiser.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Eight-year-old Ashton Sabahi waves to members of the media as he awaits the presidents arrival at John Wayne Airport on Sunday, October 18, 2020. Im excited, he said. Ive never seen a real president. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Armenian protesters wave flags along the Trump motorcade route in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pro-Trump supporters and others line the Trump motorcade route along Via Lido in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pro-Trump supporters and others line the Trump motorcade route along Via Lido in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pro-Trump supporters and others line the Trump motorcade route along Via Lido in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Armenian protesters wave flags along the Trump motorcade route street along Via Lido in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Pro-Trump supporters, protesting Armenians and others line the Trump motorcade route along Via Lido in Newport Beach on Sunday, October 18, 2020 hours before President Donald Trump arrives for a fund raiser at a private home on Lido Island. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • President Trump emerges from Air Force One after landing at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Sunday, October 18, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Yon and old Trump supporters with special clearance await his arrival at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Sunday, October 18, 2020. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Air Force One lands at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Sunday, October 18, 2020. President Trump is in Orange County for a fundraiser.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Trump is attending a private gathering at the Newport Beach home of Palmer Luckey, a Trump donor and tech entrepreneur whose new startup recently won several contracts with the U.S. millitary.

Members of the public gathered at various points near John Wayne Airport and on roads where Trump might be traveling to the fundraiser, with signs and banners offering a variety of political opinions.

See also: As Trump visits, presidential politics, beach culture collide in Newport

12:23 PM:

Summer Bailey lives in Newport Beach, says she's here 'because I'm a patriot, & adds, 'I have understood all the multiple sins (Trump has) committed against our democracy and I can't be silent anymore.' pic.twitter.com/bFpYB1goUL

— Alicia 'The Blob'-inson (@ARobWriter) October 18, 2020

12:02 PM:

Members of Armenian diaspora, here to bring attention to fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, line Via Lido on route to fundraising event, chanting 'Turkey our of NATO' and Not more genocide' pic.twitter.com/SjiRfQ530Z

— Alicia 'The Blob'-inson (@ARobWriter) October 18, 2020

11:54 AM:

Trump has landed and is heading to Newport Beach.

11:44 AM:

11:15 AM: About 1,000 people lined Via Lido early Sunday, along the route Trump’s likely route to the fundraiser.

Dozens of Newport Beach Police officers were on hand for crowd control, mostly moving to keep people on sidewalks.

Some chanted for peace and stopping the war against the small country of Artsakh. Many held American flags and chanted: Stop finding ISIS and Recognize Artsakh and Shame on Turkey.

Others held pro-Trump/Pence signs.

Its war on Armenia right now,  said Maya Tokhalyan, of Burbank, who was among hundreds on the street representing her cause.

We have big trouble with Turkey and Azarbajyan. Right now they are fighting against Artsakh, a small country of 250,000. There are terrorist from ISIS fighting in our country and violating our rights. We want to keep our land and defend our land.

Tokhalyan said her group, which came mostly from greater Los Angeles, wants to make sure the American people are aware of their plight.

We want Trump to help us stop the war and genocide killing our kids and innocent people. We are in support of Trump and truly believe Trump will do his best to stop the war for a larger community in the U.S.

Secret Service also were on hand to keep the crowd off Lido Island. Some island residents, on bikes and on foot, came to check out the growing crowd and chatted with police officers.

CHP join Newport Beach police on Lido Island f@ocregisteri pic.twitter.com/VKmdHd4M0S

— erika ritchie (@lagunaini) October 18, 2020

10:45 AM Protesters  some who oppose Trump’s reelection and others hoping to call attention to recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan  planned to demonstrate Sunday morning on the road leading to Luckey’s home on a private island in Newport Harbor.

Some Trump supporters turned up near Luckey’s home in Newport Beach.

I love America and Trump loves America, said Phil Currie Sr., a retired Air Force veteran from La Jolla who came with his family to Newport Beach Sunday morning to encourage the president.

I want to be here to support the man that made America what it is today.”

Currie, who served in the Air Force in the 1960s and said he is a descendant of one of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, added: “I want to give hima big thumbs-up.

Meanwhile, Trump fans were urged to gather with signs and flags on Pacific Coast Highway about a half mile from where the protest was planned, in a spot the President’s motorcade would have to pass on the way to the fundraiser.

With just about two weeks left until the election, Trump’s campaign cash was reportedly lagging behind that of Democratic opponent Joe Biden, with the Trump campaign raising $247.8 million in September versus the Biden campaign’s haul of $383 million last month.

The story is developing. Check back regularly for updates.

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