DETROIT (AP) — More than a dozen women protested Donald Trump’s economic policy speech Monday by jumping up and shouting in a coordinated effort to disrupt the Republican presidential nominee’s remarks.
One at a time, women seated throughout the audience stood up and yelled “Mr. Trump,” but their continued shouts were quickly drowned out by boos as security led them from the room. An organization called the Michigan People’s Campaign is claiming responsibility. It was hard to hear the women, but the group says they were yelling at Trump about jobs and his comments on women.
“It’s all very well planned out,” Trump said after security had led several protesters out.
One man also stood up toward the end of the event and yelled that Trump has “tiny hands.” That’s apparently a reference to a sexually tinged comment Trump made during one of the debates of the GOP primary.
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Protesters occasionally disrupt Trump’s larger rallies, where members of the public can enter. But this is the first time he’s faced such sustained resistance at a policy speech delivered to a private group. He was speaking to the Detroit Economic Club. Attendees said those in attendance were club members or invited guests.
Trump largely stayed on message as security removed the protesters — a fact that he referenced in a fundraising email that went out after the event.
“A group of left-wing protesters interrupted me over 10 times in an attempt to get us off message. I have news for them: IT DIDN’T WORK!” the email read.
During his speech, Trump paused to let the disruption subside several times and occasionally continued speaking through protesters as the audience offered him applause and standing ovations.
“The Bernie Sanders people have far more energy and spirit,” Trump said after one woman was taken from the room.
Detroit Economic Club President and CEO Beth Chappell apologized to Trump after his speech for the interruptions.
Several audience members shouted “we love you, Trump” and other messages of support.
Outside the Cobo Center where Trump was speaking, hundreds of protesters gathered. Some held what appeared to be sections of white sheets with bricks and “No Borders” painted on them. Another sign read: “Trump Demeans Women.” Scrawled on a small cardboard sign was: “Bikers Against Trump”.
A much smaller group of Trump supporters gathered nearby. One of their banners read: “Trump, Make America Great Again!”
Some protesters also attempted to wrestle away a large Confederate flag held by a man wearing a Trump T-shirt, before police intervened.