Photos: Trump rally draws thousands, including protesters



Making his third Florida appearance since announcing his presidential run in June, 2016 Republican frontrunner Donald Trump filled Sarasota's 4,000-plus seat Robarts Arena as hundreds more spilled into a makeshift outdoor venue.

Arriving 20 minutes past noon — when he was supposed to show up, Trump emerged from his private helicopter, which had circled twice around the cheering crowd that endured the 83-degree heat for more than 90 minutes, in anticipation.

Undeterred, the crowd waved placards as Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" played and the Trump helicopter landed. Moments earlier, at Trump's originally scheduled landing time, Elton John's "Rocket Man" served as the arriving anthem.

Trump addressed his scorched supporters for about 25 minutes before heading indoors to an equally anxious crowd. In that unscripted, hourlong speech, Trump lambasted Republican opponents Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obamacare and super PAC's before ripping the media.

The crowds responded with intermittent chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!"


Following the speech, Trump returned to the outdoors crowd.

Many had started to line up at 7 a.m., long before the doors to Robarts Arena opened at 9:30 a.m. By 10 a.m. several hundred waited to enter the security-heavy vestibule. Secret Service and local security patrolled throughout the parking lots and scoured those in line.


Camped along Ringling Boulevard outside the arena, protesters representing numerous organizations and ethnicities, peacefully united to voice their opinions.

Inside the arena, Tampa residents Crystal Wilson and Stella, who asked her last name not be used, were escorted out by security personnel and then questioned by Secret Service in the parking lot before being issued a trespassing warning.

Fifteen minutes into Trump's speech, when he was talking about protecting the military, Stella yelled out "What about black lives and brown lives that matter?"

Standing five rows back from the stage, the crowd surrounding her retaliated immediately, causing Trump to ask she be removed peacefully

"Don't hurt the person. Please nicely escort the person out," Trump said, eventually losing patience at the time it was taking. 

Trump heads to Ohio on Monday and New Hampshire on Tuesday.













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