Donald Trump's campaign stop in Burlington, Vermont, on Thursday attracted nearly as many protesters as it did supporters.
The Trump campaign issued more than 20,000 free tickets to the rally, held at the Flynn Center. The first person showed up at 4:30 a.m., and police say that the line eventually grew to about 2,000 people. The Flynn Center only holds 1,400, and the campaign questioned ticket holders about their support of Trump; if a person said they didn't back him, they weren't allowed in. "I'm taking care of my people, not people who don't want to vote for me or are undecided," Trump told the Burlington Free Press in a statement. "They are loyal to me, and I am loyal to them." Burlington police said it was within the campaign's legal right to decide who could and could not gain access to the event.
The test wasn't foolproof; about 700 protesters gathered outside, but some were able to make it inside the venue, and Trump was interrupted several times during his 70-minute speech. After protesters in the balcony started shouting their support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Trump responded by telling security to "get 'em out," and added: "I respect what they're doing — unless they have a substance abuse problem, which they probably do." Later, he told security to throw another protester out, but first take his coat. "It's about 10 degrees below zero outside," he said. In fact, the Burlington Free Press says, the temperature was 25.
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