Trump berates ‘sick’ news media in fresh tirade

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his attacks on the news media at a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday.

The president called journalists “liars” and “sick people” who are fomenting “division” in the country and “trying to take away our history and our heritage.”

He encouraged his audience to boo and chant anti-media slogans, knowing the rally was being broadcast live on television.

And he repeatedly portrayed the news media as an enemy of the American people, recalling his claims to that effect from February.

“I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that,” Trump said.

Later, he added: “You would think they want to make our country great again. And I honestly believe they don’t.”

The Society of Professional Journalists, an advocacy and education group, was compelled to respond: “Despite what President Trump says, journalists love the USA. We go to work each day to inform people about OUR country.”

Republican pollster Frank Luntz remarked in a tweet: “Trump doesn’t just criticize media more than he criticizes neo-Nazis — he criticizes them more than radical Islamic terrorists.”

Media bashing was a major theme throughout the president’s 77-minute speech.

His anger about news coverage of his response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, was apparent from the start. Trump claimed his words about Charlottesville were “perfect” but the “damned dishonest” media didn’t hear him. He did not, however, repeat his controversial claim that “both sides” were to blame for the violence.

“Trump knows that his supporters don’t feel like he got a fair shake out of Charlottesville — love to see him fighting back,” Breitbart’s White House correspondent Charlie Spiering commented on Twitter.

Trump also got personal, calling ABC’s chief anchor George Stephanopoulos “little George.” And he described the Washington Post as a “lobbying tool for Amazon.” (The Post is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.)

Several of the president’s statements about the press were incorrect.

Trump repeated past claims that journalists routinely make up sources and create stories out of whole cloth. He also said several times that the television cameras in the arena weren’t showing his remarks live.

“The live red lights, they’re turning those suckers off fast!” he said at one point, claiming that CNN was cutting away from his speech because he was being critical of the network.

CNN aired the speech in its entirety, including the chants of “CNN sucks” from rallygoers.

The president also brought up Jeffrey Lord, the former CNN commentator who was outspoken in his support for the president. “They fired Jeffrey Lord. Poor Jeffrey,” Trump lamented.

CNN severed ties with Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute to a liberal activist. Lord said he was mocking the activist.

Fox News also carried the rally live. Trump praised Fox at length, and gave specific shout-outs to the show “Fox & Friends” and anchor Sean Hannity.

“How good is Hannity?” Trump asked as the crowd cheered.

Trump’s fans, not surprisingly, savored his attacks against other media.

According to The New York Times, “members of the audience shouted epithets at reporters, some demanding that they stop tormenting the president with questions about his ties to Russia.”

Eliza Collins, a reporter for USA Today, tweeted during the speech that “a man with a little boy on his shoulders is screaming ‘rat!’ at reporters in the press risers.”

After Trump’s speech ended, journalists outside the arena dodged rocks and tear gas while covering chaotic protests.

— A version of this story first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up here!

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Meghan McCain slams man calling for father’s death

Sen. John McCain’s daughter shot back at a protester who was reportedly calling for her father’s death.

“This Trump supporter is shouting at protestors: “McCain needs to die now!” journalist David Catanese tweeted from Phoenix.

Meghan McCain later responded to the tweet about her father, a US senator from Arizona.

“I wouldn’t wish seeing this about your own father on my worst enemy,” she said. “May God help these people who inflict such cruelty in the world.”

During the fiery rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump also discussed his party’s failed attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Defying the wishes of national Republicans, Trump criticized Arizona’s two Republican senators, McCain and Jeff Flake. He said he “will not mention any names,” but added that Republicans were “one vote” short on a Republican bill to overhaul parts of Obamacare.

McCain was one of three GOP senators who voted against the bill. Trump fumed following the loss, tweeting that the three Republicans let the American people down.

Shifting his attacks to Flake, Trump said “nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. And now, we haven’t mentioned any names, so now, everybody’s happy.”

This is not the first time Trump has criticized McCain, who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

About two years ago, then-presidential candidate Trump said McCain was not a war hero because he was captured, imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War.

The Arizona senator has had a lot to say about Trump as well. He’s called his dealings with Russian diplomats “deeply disturbing” and his plan to hike the Defense Department budget “totally inadequate.” Not too long ago, McCain described Trump’s tweets calling for a ban on transgender service members in the military as unnecessary.

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Trump on the rampage in Arizona

Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as President.

In an incredible performance at a raucous Arizona rally Tuesday, Trump rewrote the history of his response to violence in Charlottesville and reignited the culture wars.

Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furor over the violence in Virginia, berating media coverage for a political crisis that refuses to abate over his rhetoric on race.

“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history,” Trump said, blaming “weak, weak people” for allowing the removal of statues commemorating the Confederacy.

In defending his responses to the Charlottesville violence, Trump selectively omitted his reference to “many sides” or “both sides,” comments he made that drew bipartisan condemnation for equating neo-Nazis with their counterprotesters.

Trump insisted at the start of his speech that all Americans must realize that they are on the same team, must show loyalty to their country, and that he wanted everyone to love one another.

But his performance was a fresh indication that he still feels far more comfortable, and perhaps motivated, to act as a political flamethrower who pulls at national divides than a President who wants to unite the nation.

Throwing gasoline onto political controversies, Trump threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds his border wall and all but promised a pardon for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court in a case related to racial profiling.

Taking on the establishment

He criticized Sen. John McCain, who is battling cancer, and turned on GOP senators he blames for his paltry legislative record. And he predicted talks to renegotiate NAFTA would fail.

It was a remarkable real-time glimpse into the inner frustrations of a sitting President, who apparently believes he is being persecuted by accurate media coverage of his conduct and can never get a break from critics.

“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” he said.

Yet Trump’s freewheeling speech, taking down establishment enemies one-by-one, was warmly received in his crowd, and will likely prove highly popular with the loyal core of voters who drove him to the GOP nomination and the White House. Those voters will lacerate media coverage of a speech that broke free of behavioral norms for the presidency, voter anger certain to be fueled by news outlets sympathetic to the President.

In effect, Trump’s rhetoric on Tuesday amounted to an implicit warning about the wrath of a substantial sector of the Republican voting base should any party leaders seek to isolate or reject the President.

And it will create immediate new problems for Republicans on Capitol Hill agonizing about how to meet looming fiscal cliffs and budget deadlines and salvage their own agenda, not to mention the mid-term elections approaching next year.

The immediate context for the speech was a New York Times story that broke earlier in the day that said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had expressed doubt about whether Trump would be able to lead the Republican Party into the mid-term elections and beyond.

Last week’s remarks by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, in which he questioned whether the President had the stability or the competence to be President, also took on new significance in the wake of Tuesday’s fireworks.

The speech came a night after Trump had boosted the hopes of some Republicans by pulling off a sober, measured speech to the nation on his new approach to Afghanistan.

But his showing in Arizona made a mockery of some media assessments that at last the President had managed to measure up to conventional standards of presidential behavior. It was hardly the kind of performance that would cause other Republicans to conclude criticisms by McConnell and Corker were overblown.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents from John Kennedy to Barack Obama, said on CNN that he found the speech “downright scary and disturbing.”

“I really question his ability to be, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out,” Clapper said.

Mike Shields, a Republican political commentator, said that media critiques questioning Trump’s mental state after the speech played into the President’s hands.

“It’s right to push back on that, it’s right to hold him accountable, it’s right to fact check him,” Shields told CNN.

“But immediately after that, when the conversation shifts into he is insane, and he is unfit for office, and he has lost his mind and we are doing psychoanalysis on television of the President, you are doing his work for him. This is almost what he wants to see happen.”

Rallying the loyalists

Trump’s boisterous showing appeared to be an attempt to fire up the political base that was the key to his election win last year.

Polls suggest his most loyal supporters still strongly support Trump, but also a worsening position for the President in the swing states that were key to his victory and signs that the strength of enthusiasm among GOP voters for his presidency is beginning to wane.

Early in his remarks, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of the racially motivated protests in Charlottesville — fuming about the “sick” and “crooked” media coverage of his response to the episode, repeatedly and selectively reading from his remarks in the days after the tragic death of anti-white supremacist protester Heather Heyer.

While quoting from a printed copy of his remarks in the days after the protests, Trump accused the media, inaccurately, of ignoring his comments that “racism is evil” and condemnations of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

He omitted his comment on the day of the protests blaming perpetrators on “many sides” and the equivalences that he again drew a week ago at Trump Tower between white supremacists and protestors.

“I hit ’em with neo-Nazi, I hit ’em with everything. KKK? We have KKK. I got ’em all,” Trump complained.

At times, Trump even seemed to be mocking his own White House team, amid reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly has been trying to rein in his wilder instincts.

Nor were Republican lawmakers immune to Trump’s implicit criticism.

“One vote away, I will not mention any names,” he said — referring to the failed vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, a clear reference to McCain’s vote.

Then, in a swipe at Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, another critic, Trump warned: “Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. And now, we haven’t mentioned any names, so now, everybody’s happy.”

Apart from the cultural and political rhetoric that will reverberate for days after the wild rally, Trump also appeared to make several policy interventions that will alarm US partners and could send economic shockwaves around the world.

“I think we’ll probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point,” Trump said, just after the start of talks on the vast trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

His threat to shutter the government over wall funding could have ramifications that stretch far beyond US shores, ahead of a deadline next month on raising the debt ceiling, without which the US government would default.

“Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said.

Outside the Phoenix Convention Center where the President spoke, police used gas canisters to disperse a crowd of anti-Trump protestors.

It was an eloquent metaphor for the political fury that has built through a broiling August, in which Trump has consciously widened political divisions in a bid to stabilize his reeling presidency.

Follow this story

Trump on the rampage in Arizona

Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as President.

In an incredible performance at a raucous Arizona rally Tuesday, Trump rewrote the history of his response to violence in Charlottesville and reignited the culture wars.

Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furor over the violence in Virginia, berating media coverage for a political crisis that refuses to abate over his rhetoric on race.

“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history,” Trump said, blaming “weak, weak people” for allowing the removal of statues commemorating the Confederacy.

In defending his responses to the Charlottesville violence, Trump selectively omitted his reference to “many sides” or “both sides,” comments he made that drew bipartisan condemnation for equating neo-Nazis with their counterprotesters.

Trump insisted at the start of his speech that all Americans must realize that they are on the same team, must show loyalty to their country, and that he wanted everyone to love one another.

But his performance was a fresh indication that he still feels far more comfortable, and perhaps motivated, to act as a political flamethrower who pulls at national divides than a President who wants to unite the nation.

Throwing gasoline onto political controversies, Trump threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds his border wall and all but promised a pardon for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court in a case related to racial profiling.

Taking on the establishment

He criticized Sen. John McCain, who is battling cancer, and turned on GOP senators he blames for his paltry legislative record. And he predicted talks to renegotiate NAFTA would fail.

It was a remarkable real-time glimpse into the inner frustrations of a sitting President, who apparently believes he is being persecuted by accurate media coverage of his conduct and can never get a break from critics.

“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” he said.

Yet Trump’s freewheeling speech, taking down establishment enemies one-by-one, was warmly received in his crowd, and will likely prove highly popular with the loyal core of voters who drove him to the GOP nomination and the White House. Those voters will lacerate media coverage of a speech that broke free of behavioral norms for the presidency, voter anger certain to be fueled by news outlets sympathetic to the President.

In effect, Trump’s rhetoric on Tuesday amounted to an implicit warning about the wrath of a substantial sector of the Republican voting base should any party leaders seek to isolate or reject the President.

And it will create immediate new problems for Republicans on Capitol Hill agonizing about how to meet looming fiscal cliffs and budget deadlines and salvage their own agenda, not to mention the mid-term elections approaching next year.

The immediate context for the speech was a New York Times story that broke earlier in the day that said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had expressed doubt about whether Trump would be able to lead the Republican Party into the mid-term elections and beyond.

Last week’s remarks by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, in which he questioned whether the President had the stability or the competence to be President, also took on new significance in the wake of Tuesday’s fireworks.

The speech came a night after Trump had boosted the hopes of some Republicans by pulling off a sober, measured speech to the nation on his new approach to Afghanistan.

But his showing in Arizona made a mockery of some media assessments that at last the President had managed to measure up to conventional standards of presidential behavior. It was hardly the kind of performance that would cause other Republicans to conclude criticisms by McConnell and Corker were overblown.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents from John Kennedy to Barack Obama, said on CNN that he found the speech “downright scary and disturbing.”

“I really question his ability to be, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out,” Clapper said.

Mike Shields, a Republican political commentator, said that media critiques questioning Trump’s mental state after the speech played into the President’s hands.

“It’s right to push back on that, it’s right to hold him accountable, it’s right to fact check him,” Shields told CNN.

“But immediately after that, when the conversation shifts into he is insane, and he is unfit for office, and he has lost his mind and we are doing psychoanalysis on television of the President, you are doing his work for him. This is almost what he wants to see happen.”

Rallying the loyalists

Trump’s boisterous showing appeared to be an attempt to fire up the political base that was the key to his election win last year.

Polls suggest his most loyal supporters still strongly support Trump, but also a worsening position for the President in the swing states that were key to his victory and signs that the strength of enthusiasm among GOP voters for his presidency is beginning to wane.

Early in his remarks, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of the racially motivated protests in Charlottesville — fuming about the “sick” and “crooked” media coverage of his response to the episode, repeatedly and selectively reading from his remarks in the days after the tragic death of anti-white supremacist protester Heather Heyer.

While quoting from a printed copy of his remarks in the days after the protests, Trump accused the media, inaccurately, of ignoring his comments that “racism is evil” and condemnations of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

He omitted his comment on the day of the protests blaming perpetrators on “many sides” and the equivalences that he again drew a week ago at Trump Tower between white supremacists and protestors.

“I hit ’em with neo-Nazi, I hit ’em with everything. KKK? We have KKK. I got ’em all,” Trump complained.

At times, Trump even seemed to be mocking his own White House team, amid reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly has been trying to rein in his wilder instincts.

Nor were Republican lawmakers immune to Trump’s implicit criticism.

“One vote away, I will not mention any names,” he said — referring to the failed vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, a clear reference to McCain’s vote.

Then, in a swipe at Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, another critic, Trump warned: “Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. And now, we haven’t mentioned any names, so now, everybody’s happy.”

Apart from the cultural and political rhetoric that will reverberate for days after the wild rally, Trump also appeared to make several policy interventions that will alarm US partners and could send economic shockwaves around the world.

“I think we’ll probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point,” Trump said, just after the start of talks on the vast trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

His threat to shutter the government over wall funding could have ramifications that stretch far beyond US shores, ahead of a deadline next month on raising the debt ceiling, without which the US government would default.

“Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said.

Outside the Phoenix Convention Center where the President spoke, police used gas canisters to disperse a crowd of anti-Trump protestors.

It was an eloquent metaphor for the political fury that has built through a broiling August, in which Trump has consciously widened political divisions in a bid to stabilize his reeling presidency.

Follow this story

Trump on the rampage in Arizona

Donald Trump just showed why even some Republicans question whether he has the temperament and the capacity to serve as President.

In an incredible performance at a raucous Arizona rally Tuesday, Trump rewrote the history of his response to violence in Charlottesville and reignited the culture wars.

Trump in effect identified himself as the main victim of the furor over the violence in Virginia, berating media coverage for a political crisis that refuses to abate over his rhetoric on race.

“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history,” Trump said, blaming “weak, weak people” for allowing the removal of statues commemorating the Confederacy.

In defending his responses to the Charlottesville violence, Trump selectively omitted his reference to “many sides” or “both sides,” comments he made that drew bipartisan condemnation for equating neo-Nazis with their counterprotesters.

Trump insisted at the start of his speech that all Americans must realize that they are on the same team, must show loyalty to their country, and that he wanted everyone to love one another.

But his performance was a fresh indication that he still feels far more comfortable, and perhaps motivated, to act as a political flamethrower who pulls at national divides than a President who wants to unite the nation.

Throwing gasoline onto political controversies, Trump threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds his border wall and all but promised a pardon for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court in a case related to racial profiling.

Taking on the establishment

He criticized Sen. John McCain, who is battling cancer, and turned on GOP senators he blames for his paltry legislative record. And he predicted talks to renegotiate NAFTA would fail.

It was a remarkable real-time glimpse into the inner frustrations of a sitting President, who apparently believes he is being persecuted by accurate media coverage of his conduct and can never get a break from critics.

“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news,” he said.

Yet Trump’s freewheeling speech, taking down establishment enemies one-by-one, was warmly received in his crowd, and will likely prove highly popular with the loyal core of voters who drove him to the GOP nomination and the White House. Those voters will lacerate media coverage of a speech that broke free of behavioral norms for the presidency, voter anger certain to be fueled by news outlets sympathetic to the President.

In effect, Trump’s rhetoric on Tuesday amounted to an implicit warning about the wrath of a substantial sector of the Republican voting base should any party leaders seek to isolate or reject the President.

And it will create immediate new problems for Republicans on Capitol Hill agonizing about how to meet looming fiscal cliffs and budget deadlines and salvage their own agenda, not to mention the mid-term elections approaching next year.

The immediate context for the speech was a New York Times story that broke earlier in the day that said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had expressed doubt about whether Trump would be able to lead the Republican Party into the mid-term elections and beyond.

Last week’s remarks by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, in which he questioned whether the President had the stability or the competence to be President, also took on new significance in the wake of Tuesday’s fireworks.

The speech came a night after Trump had boosted the hopes of some Republicans by pulling off a sober, measured speech to the nation on his new approach to Afghanistan.

But his showing in Arizona made a mockery of some media assessments that at last the President had managed to measure up to conventional standards of presidential behavior. It was hardly the kind of performance that would cause other Republicans to conclude criticisms by McConnell and Corker were overblown.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents from John Kennedy to Barack Obama, said on CNN that he found the speech “downright scary and disturbing.”

“I really question his ability to be, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out,” Clapper said.

Mike Shields, a Republican political commentator, said that media critiques questioning Trump’s mental state after the speech played into the President’s hands.

“It’s right to push back on that, it’s right to hold him accountable, it’s right to fact check him,” Shields told CNN.

“But immediately after that, when the conversation shifts into he is insane, and he is unfit for office, and he has lost his mind and we are doing psychoanalysis on television of the President, you are doing his work for him. This is almost what he wants to see happen.”

Rallying the loyalists

Trump’s boisterous showing appeared to be an attempt to fire up the political base that was the key to his election win last year.

Polls suggest his most loyal supporters still strongly support Trump, but also a worsening position for the President in the swing states that were key to his victory and signs that the strength of enthusiasm among GOP voters for his presidency is beginning to wane.

Early in his remarks, Trump reignited the controversy over his handling of the racially motivated protests in Charlottesville — fuming about the “sick” and “crooked” media coverage of his response to the episode, repeatedly and selectively reading from his remarks in the days after the tragic death of anti-white supremacist protester Heather Heyer.

While quoting from a printed copy of his remarks in the days after the protests, Trump accused the media, inaccurately, of ignoring his comments that “racism is evil” and condemnations of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

He omitted his comment on the day of the protests blaming perpetrators on “many sides” and the equivalences that he again drew a week ago at Trump Tower between white supremacists and protestors.

“I hit ’em with neo-Nazi, I hit ’em with everything. KKK? We have KKK. I got ’em all,” Trump complained.

At times, Trump even seemed to be mocking his own White House team, amid reports that Chief of Staff John Kelly has been trying to rein in his wilder instincts.

Nor were Republican lawmakers immune to Trump’s implicit criticism.

“One vote away, I will not mention any names,” he said — referring to the failed vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, a clear reference to McCain’s vote.

Then, in a swipe at Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, another critic, Trump warned: “Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. And now, we haven’t mentioned any names, so now, everybody’s happy.”

Apart from the cultural and political rhetoric that will reverberate for days after the wild rally, Trump also appeared to make several policy interventions that will alarm US partners and could send economic shockwaves around the world.

“I think we’ll probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point,” Trump said, just after the start of talks on the vast trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

His threat to shutter the government over wall funding could have ramifications that stretch far beyond US shores, ahead of a deadline next month on raising the debt ceiling, without which the US government would default.

“Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall,” Trump said.

Outside the Phoenix Convention Center where the President spoke, police used gas canisters to disperse a crowd of anti-Trump protestors.

It was an eloquent metaphor for the political fury that has built through a broiling August, in which Trump has consciously widened political divisions in a bid to stabilize his reeling presidency.

Follow this story

Trump’s Phoenix rally attracts thousands of protesters

Thousands from across Arizona flocked to Downtown Phoenix to protest President Donald Trump’s rally on Tuesday evening, carrying protest essentials — signs, megaphones and water bottles to stay hydrated in the 107-degree weather.

The protests come more than a week after demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, where clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors turned violent and resulted in one death. Trump drew widespread condemnation for his response to the clashes, in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence.

“Trump saying people on both sides are to blame was the last straw,” Eva Spivey, 25, of Avondale, Arizona, told CNN. “Racism is a one-sided thing.”

While there were some tense back-and-forth moments between protest groups and Trump supporters, a handful of cops acted as a physical barrier.

On the Phoenix Convention Center side of Monroe Street, Trump rally attendees were being ushered into the venue in lines. On the other side of the street, anti-Trump protesters had put up an inflatable Trump — in a white robe with a Nazi symbol — as well as a giant sign that read “white supremacy will not be pardoned.”

Anti-Trump protesters yelled out chants including “Shame” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Anna Ruiz, a teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District, said she marched for her undocumented students who were “too afraid.”

“It makes me sad to have to be out here,” she told CNN, while tearing up. “Everybody who lives in this country has rights.”

“I’m here because I’m also gay,” she added. “I’m here because I’m a woman. I’m here because I’m a Democrat. I’m here because I’m a woman. I’m a veteran. I’m a fifth generation Arizonan. I don’t like what’s happened to my state or my country. I’m so ashamed.”

Barry Smith, a Phoenix native, carried a sign that read “Old white men against bigotry.”

“After the election I felt so bad, they look at an old guy like me and think I voted for him,” Smith told CNN. “It’s embarrassing. Everything about him repulses me, and the fact that people are still coming to support him after the racism that’s so blatant. There’s nothing in the new message but people are starting to get the message.”

Some had simpler reasons for showing up.

“Somebody had to,” Noni Nez, from Mesa, Arizona, told CNN.

Trump’s rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time.

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