Presidential Election

Trump touts support from ‘my African American,’ says Clintons hate Obama

Presidential candidate Donald Trump said Bill and Hillary Clinton “hate” President Barack Obama and singled out an African American supporter in the crowd during a sweltering campaign stop in Redding on Friday.

“Hillary hates Obama, you know that? She has hated him for years,” Trump said. He argued the couple are only pretending to like the president to avoid prosecution for Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

“Hillary Clinton will do anything (Obama) says,” Trump said. “You want to know why? She doesn’t want to go to jail.”

Hundreds eager to hear Trump’s remarks gathered hours before the rally, chatting excitedly and sporting red “Make America Great Again” hats. While jockeying for position to get a glimpse of Trump, they held up a sea of rainbow-colored umbrellas to shield themselves from heat that topped 100 degrees.

Several rally attendees fainted and were taken away on gurneys. At one point, Trump had to interrupt his speech to call a medic for a woman in the front row.

“I know a couple of you went down. I love you all,” Trump said, addressing the crowd at the end of the event.

Unlike the melee in San Jose on Thursday, the atmosphere during and after the rally was peaceful. There were a few quiet protesters, a couple of whom were escorted out without fanfare.

Trump did make a point to address the violence in San Jose during his remarks, saying the rally was an hourlong “lovefest,” but that when his supporters left they were “accosted by a bunch of thugs burning the American flag.”

“You know what they are?” Trump asked. “They’re thugs. Build that wall.”

His supporters in Redding cheered, immediately echoing him by breaking into continuous chants of “build that wall.”

At one point, Trump told a story about a different incident involving an African American supporter attacking a protester clad in a Ku Klux Klan-inspired hood.

He then pointed into the crowd and said, “Oh, look at my African American over here. Look at him. Aren’t you the greatest? You know what I am talking about.”

Moments later, he told his audience, “We have tremendous African American support. The reason is I’m going to bring jobs back to our country.”

The man Trump identified in the crowd, 1st District congressional candidate Gregory Cheadle, said he appreciated the attention and was inspired by Trump. “I was not offended by his remark in the least,” he said.

Several rally attendees from Redding said they were elated Trump came to the relatively rural part of Northern California.

“I was so praying for it,” Adriana Constantino said. “He needs to come out because we need to be represented. ... We do not have Republican or conservative representation up here.”

Trump reiterated from previous speeches his promise to campaign heavily in California in the general election.

“Let’s say somebody else won,” Trump said. “They wouldn’t be here right now. They always give up in California as a Republican because they say we can’t win. I think we can win.”

Rachel Cohrs: 916-321-1046, @rachelcohrs

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