Seattle Times reporters and photographers are in Lynden, Whatcom County, for Donald Trump's appearance at 3 p.m. Follow our live updates throughout the day.
What you need to know:
- Trump is holding rallies in Lynden and Spokane on Saturday
- Trump rally lands in Lynden after he couldn’t get Boeing Field
- State GOP: Rally for Trump or run for the hills?
- Trump critics roll out unwelcome mat for Washington state visit
- A primer on the Washington state primary ballot
This is a report of Donald Trump’s rally in Lynden as it unfolded Saturday afternoon.
Seattle Times reporters and photographers are in Lynden for Donald Trump’s visit to Whatcom County. We will be providing live updates throughout the day as we talk with supporters, protesters and cover Trump’s speech at the Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee spoke in Spokane earlier today.
5:10 p.m | Some speech highlights
In a wandering speech, Trump recounted his wins, said Syrians are coming to Washington, that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is pretending to be Native American, that 90 percent of Middle Eastern refugees are on welfare and that “if every president for the last 15 years had gone to the beach we would have been better off.”
— Reporter Lynda V. Mapes
4:47 p.m | Trump speech is over
Trump spoke about 47 minutes. He’s now shaking hands with spectators.
4:40 p.m. | Trump supporters and protesters clash outside rally
4:35 p.m. | Syrians headed for Washington state, Trump says
4:29 p.m. | Trump in Lynden: Elizabeth Warren posing as Native American
4:22 p.m. | Trump talks border wall
4:20 p.m. | ‘The gravy train is going to end soon for a lot of people’
4:12 p.m. | ‘We are being led so stupidly by these people’
4 p.m. | Trump arrives in Lynden
3:45 p.m. | Protesters block road to rally
A group of protesters are blocking Highway 539, the main route to the Trump rally, but that won’t impact his arrival.
Protesters are holding a banner that says “Make Lynden Coast Salish Again,” which members say is to contrast the town’s Native American heritage with its “modern history of racism.” The group is live-streaming the protest here.
Trump and his camp took a different route to the fairgrounds, Bellingham police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said.
3:15 p.m. | Inside the gate, outside the gate
Officers on foot, bicycles and staffing metal detectors turned out from municipal police departments, the US Coast Guard and as far away as Seattle to join the Secret Service and TSA to police the event. As of mid afternoon, the event remained peaceful.
Security remained tight with even the finials of tiny American flags removed by security just in case. Anything that could be thrown left outside. That included water bottles, leaving only the option of buying it inside at $3 per bottle.
— Reporter Lynda V. Mapes
On the street outside the rally, Trump supporters and protesters Saturday afternoon faced off in a hail of honking horns and chanted slogans.
Several hundred demonstrators met those filing into the rally with chants like “build communities, not walls” and “dump Trump.”
Gaggles of law enforcement officers stood on the sidewalks or circled nearby on bikes, ready to jump in if tensions escalated.
Conchita Galvez, a 50-year-old Mount Vernon resident, was one of more than a dozen demonstrators who came with the immigration advocacy group OneAmerica Votes.
Speaking through a translator, Galvez said she came from Mexico to America in 1982 and she came Saturday to protest because she worried Trump would be “another Hitler.”
Other demonstrators echoed fears about Trump’s remarks regarding Hispanics and women, and his comments endorsing torture.
“We believe very strongly that Trump is dangerous not only for our country, but for the global humanity,” said Cindi Williamson.
Williamson, a 66-year-old book store employee and Bellingham resident, said she’d be supporting the Democratic nominee.
Her husband, Rob Quiesser, stood next to her in a Bernie Sanders t-shirt. Quiesser said he would write in for Sanders or another candidate in if Clinton got the Democratic nomination.
When asked what brought Quiesser to the protest, he ticked off a list: “his misogyny, his racism, his xenophobia.”
Trump supporters sported t-shirts supporting their candidate and signs like: “build that wall.”
— Reporter Joseph O’Sullivan
3 p.m. | Preparing for Trump’s arrival
With the stage draped in Old Glory and “Born on the Bayou” blasting on the loudspeakers a crowd gathered for a rally for Trump for president settled in on bleachers to await their candidate. Some played a recording of a dog that barks “Trump,” others joined shouted chants of “USA! USA!”
A perfect snow dome of Mount Baker loomed in the distance, serene above the scrum.
— Reporter Lynda V. Mapes
2:40 p.m. | Among Trump’s supporters, a Canadian and a toddler
Peter Gigante, who is from Bellingham and does international trade, said he supports Trump mainly because of the candidate’s plans to improve “unfair” trading with China and secure the border.
“To me, trade and immigration are absolutely vital for our longtime prosperity as a nation. They’ve been neglected for a long time,” he said.
Holding a “Canadians for Trump” sign, John Hostetler of Victoria said he believes Trump stands for not only the future of the U.S. but the future of “western civilization.”
“Trump has all the right enemies,” he said. “It’s not just the United States that needs Trump, the west needs Trump.”
Fourteen-month-old Liberty donned a hat to block Saturday’s sun with the stitching, “Obama you’re fired! Trump 2016” as her father, Clay Owen of Ferndale, carried her in line. Saturday was the toddler’s first rally, he said, and she’s been helping get out the vote.
“I think he’s (Trump) going to be strong for our economy, he’s going to lock down our borders, keep the illegal immigration and the drugs from coming into this country and he’s going to be strong for our vets,” Owen said.
— Reporter Jessica Lee
2:20 p.m. | A ‘lifelong Democrat for Trump’
They stood in the hot sun for hours on black asphalt, eager to see the man many of them said was the first politician they had ever believed in.
“This is my first political event. And I am a lifelong Democrat for Trump,” said Brad Howard, a Bellingham Realtor. “All my friends are voting for either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. We all want the same thing. We want jobs back. You go into WalMart, anyplace, nothing is being made in America anymore. We need to protect ourselves from the globalist influence.”
— Reporter Lynda Mapes
1:45 p.m. | Trump says he’ll win Washington state in November
Donald Trump blamed trade agreements for manufacturing job losses and said he’d win the state of Washington in November as he addressed supporters in Spokane.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee also asked security to remove a protester as he spoke at the Spokane Convention Center, the first of his two Washington state campaign stops Saturday.
Trump said he’d return to the Northwest during the campaign “because we are going to take the state of Washington.”
The last time a Republican won Washington, a reliably blue state in presidential elections, was Ronald Reagan in 1984.
— Associated Press
1:42 p.m. | Trump supporters in Lynden
1:22 p.m. | Inside the fairgrounds
1 p.m. | The protests continue
On Front Street outside the fairgrounds, a couple dozen Trump protesters traded cheers and boos with drivers.
The demonstration brought Heather Keay from Bellingham. Keay, a 39-year-old payroll manager, stood on the sidewalk holding a protest sign.
“Big picture, we don’t want Trump taking our state,” said Keay, who plans to support the Democratic nominee.
Moments later, a passenger in a passing car delivered a message of his own, shouting: “Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!”
— Reporter Joseph O’Sullivan
12:55 p.m. | In Spokane, Trump says he and Mike Leach are ‘phone friends’
12:47 p.m. | Supporters, protesters have words
12:45 p.m. | Trump speaks in Spokane
Watch his speech live here
12:24 p.m. | The doors are open in Lynden
11:50 a.m. | WSU coach Mike Leach endorses Trump at Spokane rally
Washington State University football coach Mike Leach spoke to Donald Trump supporters at the Spokane Convention Center, saying he endorses the presumptive GOP presidential.
Leach, who said he was speaking for himself and not WSU, said “it’s time for Mr. Trump to assist us together in our country…making America great again.”
Leach said he had been friends with the New York businessman for about a decade.
— Associated Press
11:24 a.m. | Ferndale man wants to see Trump — unedited
Supporters of Donald Trump lined up by the hundreds outside the gates of a Lynden fairgrounds Saturday morning. The mood in line was jubilant as trucks festooned with American flags honked as they drove by and vendors sold Trump hats with his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Paul Lavelle of Ferndale arrived at 6:30 a.m. to snag a spot near the front of the line.
Lavelle said he wanted to hear Trump in person. “It’d be nice to see what he has to say without all the editing the media does,” he said. Lavelle, who does marine electrical work, said he appreciates that Trump is a businessman and that he’s spending his own money on his campaign. “He isn’t a puppet on a string like the rest of them,” he said.
Down the road a bit, a group wearing “Gays for Trump” T-shirts waited in lawn chairs in the warm sun. Brittany Schindler, 25, said she works at an auto-repair shop in nearby Bellingham. She knows many in the LGBT oppose Trump, but she said as a conservative she looks at “the whole picture.” She said Trump stands for “the American people” and will work to boost the economy.
The American jobs theme also drew Jason Swendt, who works at the Intalco aluminum smelter. That facility has been threatened with shutdown due to foreign competition, though recently announced deals for grants and a cheaper power contract have saved the plant for now.
Swendt said he supports Trump’s talk of protecting U.S. manufacturing with tariffs on cheap foreign imports. He dismissed warnings by economists and other Trump critics who say that would start a destructive trade war.
“I don’t believe that Trump is going to put us into another recession,” he said. “If anything, I think he’s going to help me keep my job.”
While Swendt enjoys being able to buy cheap Nikes and other imports like anyone else, he said it’d be worth it to pay more to keep American jobs.
As for Trump’s controversial statements about illegal immigrants, Muslims and others — which have drawn protests and opposition even from some prominent Republicans — Swendt said Trump “is saying what a lot of people are believing but can’t say because it’s not politically correct.”
— Political reporter Jim Brunner