"Everyone's taking it away from us, but we’re bringing it back."
Donald Trump made that promise to his fans Saturday at the Spokane Convention Center. Specifically, he was speaking to people who had lost work related to the timber industry. Manufacturing, mining and business, he said, will all rise in the U.S. if the apparent Republican nominee is elected to the White House.
Trump spoke to thousands Saturday in Spokane and in Lynden, Washington for 45 minutes at a time, capping off a Northwest sweep in advance of presidential primaries in Washington and Oregon.
"We want to win by a big mandate," he told his Spokane crowd. "So I really appreciate you being here today."
Friends with the coach
Washington State University football coach Mike Leach warmed up the crowd in Spokane before Trump took the stage. Leach endorsed Trump, taking care to emphasize that he was doing so in his personal capacity. Trump subsequently used five minutes of his speech to thank Leach and to describe their history, which Trump said began when he read that Leach was a fan of his. Soon after Trump read that, he saw a picture of himself on Leach’s desk in a “60 Minutes” profile on television.
"I said, 'this guy really likes me! I mean, this guy—I don’t know who the hell he is, but he really likes me,'" Trump recounted. "So I called him and we became phone friends."
Trump likened his warm feelings toward Leach to his openness to dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"When people like me, I like them," he said of both men. "And wouldn't it be nice if we got along with Russia?"
"Build the wall"
Trump reiterated his promise to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico as he spoke to a crowd in Spokane that appeared largely white. The Hispanic population in Spokane county has more than doubled since 2000 according to Census surveys.
"Build the wall!" chanted the crowd.
The chant turned to boos as Trump decried what he called the "large influx" of Syrian refugees in the Northwest and repeatedly wished the crowd "lots of luck."
"They have no paperwork, they have no documentation, they have no anything," Trump said.
The state of Washington received 25 refugees from Syria last year, according to a report from the state Department of Social and Health Services. All refugees to the U.S. are screened by the FBI, the State Department and Homeland Security.
Trump’s animosity for his protesters has been a feature of his campaign. He said in Spokane that he was hoping for one, so the media cameras would pan out to show the size of the crowd—nearly 4,000 people.
About six minutes later, Trump focused on one man and asked, "Is this guy on our side or not?" Within a minute the man was removed by men in red security shirts as Trump said, "Get him out. Get out. Out," to cheers.
Trump left Spokane for an appearance on the other side of the state, at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. Nearby, three protesters were cited for disorderly conduct. They were part of a group that tried to delay Trump’s arrival by blocking a bridge. The Secret Service had chosen another route for Trump, but people traveling northbound on Highway 539 during the protest experienced delays.
"This is not the first action against Donald Trump. It won't be the last," said Maru Mora Villalpando of Seattle, who helped organize the protest. "Wherever fascism and racism goes, we're going to be there fighting it back."
More photos of Trump in Lynden from seattlepi.com.
Sarah Eden Wallace and Janean Jorgensen contributed to this report.