MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day before President Donald Trump was slated to hold a rally in downtown Minneapolis, some of his supporters protested at the office of Mayor Jacob Frey, who sparred with the president on Twitter this week over security costs of the rally.
The group Minnesota Trump Victory protested Wednesday at the mayor’s office, with a few people on the third floor of Minneapolis City Hall around lunchtime. Frey was not in the building. According to his office, he was celebrating Yom Kippur with his family.
They arrived carrying signs supporting the President’s campaign rally and opposing the Frey. They numbered about three dozen in all, and were upset that the mayor used Twitter to say the president’s “message of hatred” is not welcome in the state’s largest city.
“You see hundreds and hundreds of signs around Minneapolis: ‘All are welcome here.’ I think they wasted their money on those signs, because we are not welcome here. This is supposed to be a bipartisan office and his is as partisan as they come,” Sheri Auclair said.
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“I’m not liking the fact that, one, the mayor of Minneapolis tells the rest of Minnesota how to feel,” Trump supporter Wayne Paulsen said.
Supporters say charging a security fee of $530,000 to the Trump campaign before the event is Frey’s way of trying to silence Trump’s message to Minnesotans.
President Trump has vowed to turn the state red in 2020.
“All were asking is that Mayor Frey would please represent all people in this situation. I didn’t like Obama but I tell you I respected authority. I respected our government,” another Trump supporter told WCCO.
Supporters also attacked a new policy that prohibits Minneapolis Police officers from wearing their uniforms at Trump’s rally.
“We believe in our police. We want them to be able to use their uniforms if they want to honor our president,” Mary Susan Timion said.
In the middle of all the Trump supporters was one backer of Frey, who does not support the president.
“Honestly, I prefer we do kick him out with the election, but I am very concerned about the damage he is currently doing,” the Frey supporter said.
Frey did not greet the Trump supporter, he was observing Yom Kippur, with his family.
On Tuesday, Frey and Trump threw barbed tweets at each other, with the president accusing the mayor of trying to “price out free speech” and calling him a “lightweight” politician.
“Yawn,” Frey responded. “Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all our neighbors.”
As it stands Wednesday, the city looks to foot the security bill, although Frey says he’ll seek reimbursement for the city.
Meanwhile at Target Center, the Trump campaign has begun to set up for Thursday’s rally. The event is expected to draw thousands of supporters, as well as protesters, to downtown Minneapolis.
Minnesota has often been in Trump’s Twitter feed in recent months, particularly as he’s taken aim at Rep. Ilhan Omar, projecting her and other congresswomen of color as the new face of Democratic politics that he stands against.
Several times, the president has predicted that he’ll win Minnesota in 2020. In the last election, he narrowly lost the state to Hillary Clinton.
Minnesota hasn’t voted red since 1972, when Richard Nixon smashed George McGovern, winning all but one state, Massachusetts.