Politics

Protesters gather to welcome President Trump to Los Angeles

President Donald Trump waves as shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he arrives in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump waves as shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he arrives in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump waves as shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he arrives in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
People gather in Beverly Gardens Park to protest US President Donald Trumps visit to the state in Beverly Hills on March 13, 2018.
Kyle Grillot/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump waves as shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he arrives in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump waves as he shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he disembarks from Airforce One in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump waves as shelters from the rain under an umbrella as he arrives in Los Angeles on March 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images


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Donald Trump visited California Tuesday — his first trip to the state as president. It comes as the Trump administration battles California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The president visited eight prototypes for the massive wall he wants built along the U.S. border with Mexico and spoke with troops. He later made his way to a fundraiser in the Beverly Hills area. Protests and counter-protests were held in San Diego and Los Angeles.

8:30 p.m. President leaves Beverly Hills fundraiser

Neighbors around the gated Beverly Park community off Mulholland Drive weren't happy about unannounced road closures as President Trump attended a high-dollar fundraiser Tuesday night at the home of businessman and Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Edward Glazer.

Tickets for the fundraiser to support the Trump reelection campaign and campaigns of other Republicans started at $35,000 a seat. The prices were so high that state GOP Party Chairman Jim Brulte said he didn't plan to attend.

Although nearby residents were unhappy with the visit, Thousand Oaks resident Steve Taylor wanted to see the president. He parked his car and hiked up the hill to get near to the Glazer home.

Taylor arrived on time, in the rain, to see the president drive by.

"It’s awe-inspiring," he said. "I mean it’s the power of the free world right there before your very eyes."

Trump left the event about a half hour behind schedule. He was expected to spend the night at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel in the Wilshire Grand building, then depart Wednesday morning for St. Louis.

8:25 p.m. So far, uneventful protests near the Wilshire Grand Center

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Near the hotel where President Trump was expected to spend the night, some protesters gathered to chant anti-Trump cheers. All seemed orderly.

Passersby offered some thoughts on what Trump should have done in his first visit to California since he won the White House.

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Carlos Gomez said he wished Trump would visit Jordan High in South Los Angeles to see high-achieving students in action.

"Stop stereotyping everyone," Gomez said. "We're not all criminals."

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— Sharon McNary

6:56 p.m. Trump protesters clash at nearby protest

Tensions are high at a Southern California park where demonstrators for and against Donald Trump gathered near a Beverly Hills fundraiser attended by the president.

A few hundred people rallied Tuesday evening in Beverly Hills, including anti-Trump protesters who hoisted signs that read "Treason," ''Impeach" and "Trump U R Fired."

At one point a man wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat claimed he had been hit by a protester on the other side. Police stepped in to diffuse the situation.

Jennifer Medina says she attended the rally to speak out against Trump's immigration policies. She was among a group of protesters who chanted "Say it now, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here."

Associated Press

6:44 p.m. History teacher flips off Trump while also being impressed

Thousand Oaks resident Steve Taylor, a history teacher, was among those who watched Trump's motorcade pass on Tuesday after being caught behind a road closure. He said he flipped off Trump as the president and his staff drove by, but had to admit that he was awed and impressed by the motorcade.

"I mean, it's the power of the free world right there before your very eyes. And you see the Secret Service, and then you see the military, and then you see the media, and then you see all the resources that were being used," Taylor said. "It's awe-inspiring to see your taxpayer dollars at work."

Taylor said he ditched his car and went hiking through the woods in the rain to catch a glimpse of the motorcade.

"I got on the other side up here on Mulholland so I could take a video and show my kids, and my students too," Taylor said.

Mary Plummer tweet

While Trump was heading to a Beverly Hills fundraiser, protesters gathered nearby.

Frank Stoltze tweet

Mary Plummer & Frank Stoltze with KPCC staff

6 p.m. Anti-Trump protesters include those worried about deportation

Gabriela Navas with the Unite Here union was among those protesting President Trump in Beverly Hills. She took issue with Trump's border wall — as Trump's positions on the border had made her fearful about what could happen to the father of her children.

"[My kids'] dad got deported. And he struggled many times to come back," Navas said.

He was deported four years ago, under President Obama, according to Navas. He did make it back into the United States, but remains in the country without legal permission.

"I'm afraid, because he's just trying to do good by me and his kids," Navas said. "[Trump] says that everybody who comes from other countries, they're just here to rape people, and that's not true."

Navas said that the wall would increase division among those in the U.S.

"It's going to make it hard for a lot of the people that really want to come here to make a difference, and not to do anything. They just want to see their families, be with their family," Navas said.

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Anti-Trump protester Dee Dee Ybarra, 61, said that she was out protesting as part of the American Indian Movement.

"He can't make America great — we're already great," she said.

Dee Dee Ybarra took issue with Trump's assertion that he would bring jobs back to the United States.

"We have jobs," she said. "There could be more jobs. It's businesses like his that caused the companies to leave in the beginning. Didn't want to pay the prices, didn't want to pay the wages, and they left."

Frank Stoltze with KPCC staff

5:37 p.m. Small crowd of protesters gather downtown

The streets downtown were clear as protesters waited for Trump's motorcade. One of the only protesters to bring a sign to a downtown protest was Leslie Gainer, who says she divides her time between Santa Monica and downtown L.A.

Leslie Gainer, an anti-Trump protester at a downtown Los Angeles protest on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
Leslie Gainer, an anti-Trump protester at a downtown Los Angeles protest on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

Her sign called for President Trump's impeachment.

"I think that it's time to make America safe again," Gainer said. "President Trump is playing with world leaders like he's playing a game of Battleship."

Gainer said she was born and raised in L.A.

"It's always been a live-and-let-live sort of city, and I think actually his presidency has brought the city even closer together. Other cities, not so much." She added, "There's more a sense of, we need to do what we can individually and collectively to grow our economy, to keep our environment safe, to take care of each other."

Sharon McNary with KPCC Staff

5:05 p.m. Trump travels to Beverly Hills fundraiser

President Trump is spending his evening at a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by the co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Guests are paying up to $250,000 to attend the event held at the Beverly Hills home of Ed and Shari Glazer.

Read KPCC's profile of Glazer here.

The money raised will go to a joint fundraising committee that benefits Trump's 2020 re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The Los Angeles Police Department is warning about traffic snarls along the president's route to Glazer's home.

— Associated Press

4:46 p.m. Rain falls on Trump protesters, Trump motorcade

A couple hundred people gathered for an anti-Trump protest in Beverly Hills, set to start at 5 p.m. David and Deedee Ybarra traveled from Hesperia for the event.

"He's an idiot. He has no heart for the people," David Ybarra said.

It was raining at the location of the protest.

Stoltze tweet photo

Trump's motorcade temporarily closed Mulholland Drive, among other roads, as well as one downtown Metro stop. There were 20-plus vehicles in the motorcade.

You can see the motorcade here:

Mary Plummer motorcade video

KPCC staff

3:59 p.m. Large police presence spotted along Mulholland Drive ahead of Trump's arrival

President Trump was scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday afternoon before departing for a fundraiser.

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There was a large police presence Tuesday afternoon along Mulholland Drive, with the LAPD saying the road would be closed sometime Tuesday night for a VIP — Trump was expected to be heading that way shortly.

People got out of their cars and pleaded with police to let them through. "I live just down the road," one woman said. She said she wanted to walk home and leave her car behind. "This is not the way to treat people." LAPD thanked her for her cooperation.

The road completely closed shortly before 4 p.m., but the closure was expected to be short-lived and clear by around 5 p.m.

Neighbors driving by expressed confusion, asking the officers who was coming. LAPD officers along the road were being told to clear the route.

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Mary Plummer

2:39 p.m. Trump envisions space force someday in military

President Trump says there may someday be a "space force" fighting alongside the Air Force, Army and other branches of the military.

Trump was speaking Tuesday about his administration's investments in space exploration to members of the military when he said that space is becoming a "war-fighting domain."

You can watch his remarks here:

Trump speech to Marines

He says his idea of a new space force had started as an off-the-cuff comment, but he decided it was a great idea.

2:29 p.m. Trump speaks to troops, lauds them for excellence

President Trump told U.S. troops that he's overseeing a massive military buildup, praising soldiers for pushing themselves to "new heights of excellence."

Trump said at California's Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that the nation's military had been "asked to do more with less" for too long.

The president says he remains optimistic about a new U.S. effort to engage with North Korea. Trump says the U.S. is "prepared for anything" but believes "something positive will happen." Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this spring.

Trump is also pointing to American efforts to lead in space. He predicts that "very soon we're going to Mars" and adds that "you wouldn't be going to Mars" if his opponent, Hillary Clinton, had won the 2016 election.

Associated Press

12:50 p.m. Trump speaks from US-Mexico border

President Donald Trump speaks as he inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump speaks as he inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump was briefed on eight towering prototypes Tuesday, including one with blue steel on top. He asked which of the models are the hardest to climb. He also said certain parts of California are desperate for a wall to break the flow of illegal immigration.

Said Trump: "If you didn't have walls over here you wouldn't even have a country."

Trump also says that "they re-established law and order in San Diego" with a wall.

Eight 30-foot-tall prototypes have been erected near the Mexican border to serve as models for the wall Trump wants to build.

— Associated Press

12:38 p.m. Street closures announced ahead of Trump's LA visit

The Los Angeles Police Department has released a map showing street closures in downtown L.A., which will be in effect through 1 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

https://twitter.com/LAPDHQ/status/973629724093161472

The current closures are listed as:

LAPD officials had released a statement earlier, saying officers would be "heavily deployed throughout the city to ensure the safe transport of the president and secure locations he will be visiting."

12:30 p.m. Trump inspects border wall prototypes at US-Mexico border

President Trump's motorcade arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border just before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, where the president began inspecting prototype designs for his proposed border wall.

President Donald Trump is shown border wall prototypes in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump is shown border wall prototypes in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

11:48 a.m. Trump arrives in Southern California

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. It is Trump's first visit to the state as president.
President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. It is Trump's first visit to the state as president.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Air Force One landed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Tuesday morning, and President Trump stepped off the plane just after 11:30 a.m. He was greeted by military personnel before boarding Marine One to visit the border wall prototypes.

— KPCC staff

10:20 a.m. Pro- and anti-Trump rallies underway near US-Mexico border

Anti-Donald Trump demonstrators chant during a rally on March 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. The rally was held on the eve of President Trump's visit to California where he will be viewing prototypes of a border wall between Mexico and the United States, and then attending a fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
Anti-Donald Trump demonstrators chant during a rally on March 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. The rally was held on the eve of President Trump's visit to California where he will be viewing prototypes of a border wall between Mexico and the United States, and then attending a fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Trump supporters gathered near the border Tuesday morning in response to the president's first trip to the Golden State.

At the same time, an anti-Trump demonstration formed near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, with many protesters speaking out against the president's immigration policies.

Reporters with KPCC's media partner KPBS are on scene to cover both the rally and the protest.

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— KPCC staff

10:15 a.m. GOP Congressman plans to meet with Trump in San Diego

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego, spoke with Take Two's A Martinez Tuesday and says he'll be waiting for Trump "at the wall-prototype area” when the president visits to look over designs for his planned border wall.

Hunter, who represents California's 50th District, said it was "fitting" that the president marks his first trip to California by visiting San Diego, "where the Marine Corps and the Navy have a huge presence, where we build ships that go off to war."

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Asked whether associating with President Trump could hurt his chances of reelection, Hunter said he views that association more as an asset than a liability.

“A lot of my constituency see me and Trump on the same page on a lot of these issues, because we are," he said. "I don’t have to make myself fit into the Trump Doctrine; that’s the way I live life. So, I’m happy with what Trump’s doing.”

— KPCC staff

9:45 a.m. Trump says California defiance on immigration must stop

President Donald Trump says California's policy of refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities is unconstitutional, dangerous and "MUST STOP!"

Trump tweeted Tuesday that "thousands of dangerous & violent criminal aliens are released as a result of sanctuary policies" and are "set free to prey on innocent Americans."

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The president tweeted from aboard Air Force One as it flew him to California for his first visit to the state as president. Trump is scheduled to visit eight prototypes for the massive wall he wants built along the U.S. border with Mexico. Protests for and against the wall are planned.

The trip comes as the Trump administration battles California over its refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The scene so far was quiet along the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego, where protests are expected when President Donald Trump arrives. Trump will examine prototypes of the wall he wants to build between the two countries.

On the Mexican side, federal and state police are standing by Tuesday morning but there is no crowd.

Tractor-trailer rigs have been parked along the U.S. side, blocking the view from Mexico.

— Associated Press

8:31 a.m. Protests to await Trump's visit to California border

Rallies for and against Donald Trump's "big beautiful border wall" with Mexico are expected to mark his first visit to California as president amid growing tensions between his administration and the state over immigration enforcement.

Trump will visit eight towering prototypes of his stalled wall Tuesday before addressing Marines in San Diego and attending a fund-raiser in Los Angeles. He'll be staying there overnight.

Trump's visit comes amid as his administration has been engaged in a war of words over California's refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The Justice Department last week sued to block a trio of California laws designed to protect people living in the U.S. illegally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions followed up with a speech in Sacramento that was immediately denounced by the state's Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the Trump administration was "full of liars" and the lawsuit akin to an "an act of war."

A top federal immigration official lashed out at some of the state's elected leaders ahead of the visit. Thomas Homan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's acting director, singled out Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday for recent criticism of a spate of immigration arrests in the state and a federal lawsuit challenging state laws that limit cooperation on immigration.

Homan said Pelosi's comments about federal agents terrorizing immigrant communities were "beyond the pale" and challenged Feinstein to change laws if she disagreed with how they are enforced.

Protests are also being planned across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, when Trump will examine the 30-foot-tall prototypes built along the international border to fulfill his signature campaign promise. Trump has insisted Mexico pay for the wall but Mexico has adamantly refused to consider the idea.

Border wall prototypes on display in San Diego, Calif., where contractors offer different designs.
Border wall prototypes on display in San Diego, Calif., where contractors offer different designs.
Elliott Spagat/AP

Organizers on both sides were urging people to remain peaceful after recent scuffles at rallies in Southern California, including brawls at a Dec. 9 rally near where the prototypes stand.

San Diego is the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border to formally oppose his plans, passing a resolution in 2017.

Immigrant activists, church leaders and elected officials held a press conference at the city's historic Chicano Park to call for demonstrations to show border communities do not support a wall. Standing in front of murals of Mexican revolutionaries and other Latin American icons, they chanted "We reject your hate! We don't need your racist wall!"

"It's really important that as a region, as a city that has firsthand understanding of what the border wall means for our communities that we stand against (this) and we send a strong message to DC to say this is something that we don't welcome," City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez said Monday.

Gomez sponsored the resolution opposing the wall, calling it detrimental to the city's environment and tourism. It also expressed the city's intent to divest from the companies involved in the construction, financing and design of the wall.

The visit isn't Trump's first visit to the border. In July 2015, just weeks after declaring his candidacy, Trump traveled to Laredo, Texas, accompanied by a presidential-sized motorcade that included two coach buses packed with reporters.

Trump told reporters after landing that he was putting himself "in great danger" by coming to the border. But, he said, "I have to do it. I love this country." Laredo is one of Texas's safest cities.

Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer — who is not expected to meet with Trump during his visit — did not support the resolution but also did not veto it. The mayor's office said Faulconer has been clear in his opposition to walls along the border but he did not want to blacklist companies involved in the construction of the prototypes.

"When some people look at the U.S.-Mexico border, they see division," Faulconer said in his state of the city address in 2017. "But here in San Diego we view it much differently. Rather than allowing the border to divide us, we're building bridges that connect us."

Jeff Schwilk, founder of San Diegans for Secure Borders, whose group participated in the rally in December near the prototypes that ended in clashes with counter-protesters, said the city council's resolution does not reflect the views of many residents, who feel the border is not secure. He said his organization respects free speech and hopes Tuesday's rally will be safe for participants.

"We absolutely want President Trump to feel welcome and to come inspect the prototypes so we can get the wall built," he said.

Trump on Tuesday is expected to be briefed on lessons learned from the construction of the prototypes built in San Diego last fall. He also will meet with border agents and officers to ask what they need, said Jonathan Hoffman, Homeland Security spokesman.

The president will not be swayed by California Republican lawmakers concerned the wall is a waste of money, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

"The president campaigned on this, he talked about it extensively and he's the president and this is something that he is not going to back away from," she said. "It's something that he's going to continue to push for."

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday invited Trump to also visit the state's high-speed rail construction projects.

"You see, in California we are focusing on bridges, not walls," Brown, a Democrat, said in a letter sent to Trump.

— Julie Watson/AP

AP writers Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, John Antczak in Los Angeles, Elliot Spagat in San Diego, and Jill Colvin and Nancy Benac in Washington contributed to this report.