WASHINGTON (KDKA) — Before an enthusiastic crowd of an estimated 6,000 plus supporters, President Donald Trump returned to Youngstown, Ohio, Tuesday night for the first time as president.
He was there twice last year as a candidate.
And, he returned to familiar themes including health care and illegal immigration.
Watch the full rally here —
The Covelli Centre audience roared with approval, as the president touted his efforts to not only “Make America Great Again,” but to “Make America Safe Again.”
Trump was repeatedly interrupted by applause when he said, “One by one, we’re finding illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers and killers, and we are sending them the hell back home, where they came from.”
He added, “Once they are gone, we will never let them back in. Believe me. And that is why our administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities.”
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports —
Early on in his hour-long speech, the president said he wanted to cut through the “fake news filter.” He said he was far away from the Washington swamp.
He applauded the vote in the U.S. Senate hours earlier, which will allow for debate to begin on bills to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act, which he called a “disaster.”
“Finally, you think that’s easy, it’s not,” Trump said. “We’re now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare.”
A protester holding what looked like a pillowcase saying “Trump and Pence Must Go” was about 20 yards from Trump. He was tackled by Trump supporters and then removed by police.
To the roar of the crowd, Trump said, “Where the hell did he come from?”
A second protestor was removed from the audience a little later.
NEW: Lines outside Covelli Center in Youngstown for “Rally in the Valley” with President Trump. Start time 7PM pic.twitter.com/GB4WuCyLhb
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) July 25, 2017
After the speech was over, a Franklin Park couple, who came to Youngstown with their nephew, gave the president high marks.
“He’s the flawed president. He’s not perfect, but he’s our president and stands for everything we stand for, and so, we loved it,” Marcie Braunstei, a Trump supporter said.
“Whatever Mr. Trump has said, everything [the president] said he’s going to change, I want to see change,” Dave Jones, another supporter, said.
Before the event, another support said he couldn’t get enough of the president’s Twitter account.
“More than happy with him. Every day when he tweets online, I just crack up at it. I just can’t get enough of him,” said William Schneider, of Copley, Ohio, a Trump supporter. “I honestly think he needs to tweet more, that’s what the people need, ’cause he’s actually bypassing the media and going straight to the people.”