Donald Trump Met By Protesters At Norman Fundraiser
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Norman Saturday for a private fundraiser. He was met by not only supporters, but also a large crowd of protesters.
When he arrived Trump acknowledged the crowd that had gathered across the street from the home of Hunter and Kathy Miller, but he did not stick around to chat with them. Close to 100 people booed as he exited his SUV waving and walked inside.
Protester Suzette McDowell says, “We’re still here even though this is very red Oklahoma, and we are totally dedicated to preserve decency and democracy in our country.”
One of the protesters' biggest messages focused on the environment, targeting the oil industry for recent earthquakes. Sierra Club chairman Casey Holcomb says, “Many of our members are actually indigenous people who happen to own a lot of the land where these pipelines are coming through and where a lot of the fracking activity is happening, so we’re here to make sure issues of environmental racism are addressed.”
Fundraiser attendees mostly entered from the opposite end of the block, shielded behind barricades manned by police, state troopers and Secret Service agents. Guest speaker Governor Mary Fallin told News 9 ahead of the event that she was happy that Trump is showing how much he cares about Oklahoma voters. This is his fourth visit to the state. For this private event, however, tickets ranged from $1,000 to $50,000.
Some ticket-holders braved the crowd of protesters to get inside, including one of Oklahoma's own presidential candidates Joe Exotic. He says, “The question today will be whether or not he’ll give me the time of day for $1,000 to ask a question or if this is all about money.”
The well-known exotic animal keeper was hoping to ask Trump about his policies on social security funding and threats from animal rights organizations. Exotic says he does not agree with all of Trump’s statements, adding, “I don’t think that we have 10 million people to fill jobs if we throw 10 million people out of this country.” He says he would halt his own campaign, however, if he had just 30 minutes to speak with Trump and know that he was listening.
Exotic never his chance to talk policy with Trump, though. After speaking with News 9, he walked back across the street and was not allowed to re-enter, despite one campaign staffer telling him it would be okay to leave and come back. He says, “I asked for my money back and they refused to give my money back, so this is what this election is all about. $1,000 to get in, $50,000 to get in and screw the small people of this country to even ask a question for $1,000.”
News 9 was unable to reach local campaign organizers to speak about the event.
Trump was originally planning to stick around for the beginning of the football game between University of Oklahoma and Ohio State University, aiming to reach voters in both states. However, a weather delay pushed the game back an hour and a half and conflicted with his next campaign stop in Colorado.