President Donald Trump visits MacDill
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President Donald Trump visits MacDill

President Donald Trump will visit MacDill Air Force Base on Monday. He will get a briefing from leaders at United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command, have lunch with service members and deliver remarks. It is Trump's first visit to Tampa as president.

  • Trump says he'll be 'loading up' MacDill with new planes

    In his speech on Monday, Trump praised the leadership at MacDill Air Force Base, the troops and families thnere, and reiterated his support for the military.

    He said he will be "loading up" the base "with beautiful new planes" and equipment.
     
    He offered no specifics.
     
    MacDill, home to 16 K -135 aerial refueling tankers, is not on the short list to get the next wave of KC46 jets to replace the Eisenhower-era planes.
     
    - Howard Altman
     
  • Trump supporter Peter Chianchiano clashes with Trump protesters at a "Trump Not Welcome" protest near the corner of Interbay Boulevard and South Dale Mabry Highway.In the red hat is Donna Davis, co-founder of the Tampa chapter of Black Lives Matter, and at far right is independent activist Adebowale Nenet. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
     

    Crowd of Trump protesters peaked at 80

    By noon, the number of people protesting against President Trump's visit to Tampa had dwindled to about 30 from around 80 at its peak near 11 a.m.

    For those left, the military was on their minds.

    Mark Klutho, a 67-year-old Largo man, said at as someone who fought in the Vietnam War, he is offended that any active service member or veteran would support Trump.
     
    “He said sleeping around was his Vietnam,” Klutho said. “Disrespectful.”
     
    Yvonne Gougelet, 34-year-old self-proclaimed “anti-war activist” said she is worried Trump will get the U.S. military further involved in the Middle East.
     
    “Bush brought us into Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said, “Obama got involved with Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Libya. That is seven countries Donald Trump now must deal with and he looks like he’ll add Iran. Enough.”
     
    By 1 p.m., the scheduled end of the rally, about a dozen protesters remained. When asked how much longer they would stay, Mike Anderson, a 26-year-old community outreach director for Allendale Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, casually replied, “As long as it takes.”
     
    - Paul Guzzo
  • Trump lunches on Cuban sandwiches, talks Super Bowl

    Shortly after 1 p.m., President Donald Trump entered a fourth-floor dining room at the CentCom headquarters to have lunch with about three dozen enlisted personnel.

    He was running late after a briefing with leaders from U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command.

    Also in the room was Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of CentCom; and Army Gen. Raymond “A” Tony Thomas, commander of SOCom.
     
    As Trump sat down, he launched into a conversation about the Super Bowl.
     
    “Tom Brady cemented his place,” Trump said.  "He did a good job.”
     
    Among items on the menu; Cuban sandwiches according to one food prep staffer.
     
    After a few minutes, the press was escorted out of the room.
     
    - Howard Altman
    by Carl Lisciandrello, Times... edited by Tampa Bay Times Editor 2/6/2017 6:29:53 PM
  • It's all business as Trump arrives at MacDill

    As protesters gathered outside, President Donald Trump landed quietly at about 11:20 a.m. in the solitude of a MacDill Air Force Base runway.

    Five minutes later, Trump's staff, security and other White House personnel exited the back door of the jet, including adviser Steve Bannon. Wearing a dark suit, Bannon quickly stepped into a black SUV.
     
    Soon after, Trump walked alone from the front door of the Boeing 747.
     
    Awaiting him beside the plane were some of the people he came to speak with, including joint chiefs chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Special Operations Command chief Gen. Raymond Thomas, Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel, MacDill host command chief Col. April Vogel, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
     
    Trump quickly walked down the air stairs, saluted the honoro guard there to greet him, waved twice and climbed into a limo. After a minute, it drove away.
     
    President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One at MacDill Air Force Base. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
     
    - Paul Guzzo
     
  • "Trump Not Welcome" protesters assemble at the corner of Interbay and Dale Mabry Boulevard on Monday morning. A visit by President Trump to MacDill Air Force Base prompted the protest. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
     

    Demonstrators hope Trump sees signs from plane

    Fifteen to 20 demonstrators gathered on the sidewalk Monday morning along S Dale Mabry Highway about four blocks north of the main gate to MacDill Air Force Base.

    Their hope: To put protest banners in President Trump’s view as he flew into and out of MacDill Monday morning.
     
    Groups that included Black Lives Matter, Love Has No Borders and Out and Loud had members at the demonstration, and the banners said:
     
    No Ban. No Wall. No Ethnic Cleansing
     
    No to Ethnic Cleansing
     
    and
     
    Trump’s Raid in Yemen Killed 10 Women and Children
     
    “We want to be here visible to Donald Trump to intimate what it’s like to come to a land where you’re not welcome, and he’s most certainly not welcome in Tampa,” said demonstration organizer Dezeray Lyn, 38, of Tampa, a co-founder of Tampa-based Love Has No Borders, a “radical, grassroots refugee solidarity organization,” which works with three dozen local refugee families.
     
    “I’m here because the Tampa community enjoys a beautifully large Muslim population, and several mosques in this area have been vandalized and have been victims of arson,” Lyn said. “I’m here because I’m a human being and I do not want fascism, white nationalism and white supremacy to flourish in this land. … We’re here outside of Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. This is immediately in the wake of Trump’s botched Yemen operation, which killed 10 women and children, including an 8-year-old American girl as well as a U.S. Navy Seal. He is woefully unprepared, he is woefully unqualified and you would think that any of these instances of chaos, confusion, panic, grief and even death would be a sobering moment for Donald Trump, but it hasn’t been.”
     
    “I’m here because, as Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has,’ ” said Jennifer Johnston, 40, of Tampa. “This is a call to action for everyone to get involved, to stand up for what we value and to protect our democratic ideals, which are larger than any one person.”
     
    Michael Anderson, 27, of St. Petersburg, co-founder of Out and Loud, an advocacy group for LGBTQ residents, people of color, refugees and others, said he was there because “people in our community are not safe.”
     
    “There, basically, have been several reports over the past two or three weeks since Trump’s inauguration who have been feeling very uneasy due to their immigration status, due to their color of their skin, due to their gender identity or expression,” Anderson said. “I am here to stand up for them … and basically to say, ‘Trump, you are not welcome in Tampa.’ “
     
    Meanwhile, Lutheran Services Florida, which works to ensure that refugees are safely resettled in their new communities, was working Monday with Action Together Tampa Bay to collect cleaning supplies, gift cards and money. As of 9:30 a.m., according to Terri Durdaller, Lutheran Services Florida’s interim associate vice president of communications, the drive so far had raised $960 through online donations at http://bit.ly/LSFRefugeeSupport
     
    - Richard Danielson
     
  • Trump will visit MacDill Air Force Base on Monday

    Tampa Bay TimesWASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will visit MacDill Air Force Base on Monday, the White House said on Friday.
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