Donald Trump plans an Everett rally and local fundraiser Tuesday in what could be his final local campaign stop before the November election.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will rally supporters at Xfinity Arena of Everett on Tuesday in what could be his final trip to the Pacific Northwest before the November election.
In visiting Washington, Trump, who has faced criticism over his campaign’s strategic decisions, will be appearing in a state that hasn’t supported the GOP nominee since 1984. A poll this month showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead here.
But Trump’s state campaign director, state Sen. Don Benton, dismissed such surveys as underestimating the candidate’s appeal.
“We believe there is a silent majority that won’t participate in these polls,” said Benton, R-Vancouver, pointing to working-class voters fed up with the usual politics.
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There is another lure for Trump — campaign money. His 7 p.m. rally will follow a private fundraiser that a GOP source said also would take place at the Xfinity Arena in an attached conference center. Benton said he could not confirm the site, citing security concerns.
Some of the originally named co-hosts of that fundraiser, including billionaire Seattle developer Martin Selig, have since disavowed Trump.
But Benton said interest in the fundraiser has exceeded expectations, drawing hundreds of donors from as far away as Alaska. Tickets were advertised for at least $2,700 a person, and up to $100,000 for co-hosts.
In a KIRO radio interview on Monday, Trump previewed one of his talking points, sounding ominous warnings that — unless he is elected president — Boeing planes soon could be made overseas.
Trump cited “bad” trade deals and “massive” Boeing facilities built in China. “And before you know it, they won’t even be making the planes in Seattle, they won’t even be making the planes in the state of Washington,” he said.
Aircraft-industry experts have rejected such claims, which Trump has made throughout the year, as laughably false.
Leading aviation-industry consultant Richard Aboulafia said Trump is “badly confused” about the industry after he made similar comments while speaking in South Carolina in February. Aboulafia said that if anything, there has been a trend toward moving airplane-manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
The facility Trump has referred to in China is a finishing center for 737 interiors and paint, a far cry from final jet-assembly work.
In a statement Monday, Boeing spokesman Doug Alder noted the company’s local investments, including the $1 billion composite-wing facility in Everett. “We are firmly committed to the Puget Sound region,” he said.
In an email to supporters, Benton said Trump’s visit this week could be his last to the Northwest before Nov. 8.
Trump last campaigned here in May, drawing large crowds in Spokane and Lynden, Whatcom County.
In Everett, the Xfinity Arena holds up to 10,000 people, according to General Manager Rick Comeau. He advised anyone planning to attend to pack light and avoid carrying large items, including backpacks, to get through extensive security checks.
The Trump campaign said those who’ve requested free tickets through the Trump website should show up early. Doors for the arena will open at 4 p.m.
Democrats and activist groups were planning to protest Trump’s rally. A “No Hate in Our State” protest at Clark Park in Everett starts at 4 p.m., according to an email from state Democratic Party Chair Jaxon Ravens.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray joined a news conference with liberal activists Monday, denouncing Trump for “hate speech” against refugees, Muslims and others.
Murray said “we must speak out” against Trump, but urged protesters not to engage in “name-calling and finger-pointing.”
Teresa Mosqueda, political director for the Washington State Labor Council, said Trump’s campaign rhetoric — including a pledge to build a wall on the Mexico border — has brought “hate groups, like white supremacists, into the mainstream of politics.”
Benton said he found it “ironic” that Democrats are denouncing Trump “when their party and their politics are responsible — directly responsible — for the poverty that minorities have suffered in this country.”
After his Washington campaign stop, Trump is scheduled for a rally Wednesday in Phoenix, where he is expected to deliver a speech about immigration.