MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - President Donald Trump and Representative Mike Bost hosted a rally on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Murphysboro, Illinois.
There were 4,000 people inside the hangar not counting those who attended outside.
President Trump says he will go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the site of this Saturday’s mass shooting at a synagogue.
He had considered cancelling the rally because of that shooting.
“This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst,” said President Trump. “The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, it can’t be tolerated and it cannot be allowed to continue. We can’t allow it to continue.”
U.S. Rep. Bost announced on Sunday, Oct. 21 that President Trump was to visit southern Illinois for a campaign rally. The President arrived from Indianapolis, Indiana where he spoke to the Future Farmers of America annual convention.
Once he landed in Murphysboro, the President addressed the media about the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue. He said he would be traveling to Pittsburgh. He said it’s important to be here and to not let horrible things that happen change how we live our lives.
He also talked about how this midterm election is so crucial.
In Indianapolis, the President talked to reporters for about five minutes after landing and said on the record they were “considering” cancelling the rally in Illinois. Later, while speaking at a National FFA Convention, the President said he feels he has an obligation to make it to the rally.
The rally was held at the Southern Illinois Airport located at 605 Flightline Road.
A diagram was released by airport officials of the traffic plan for that day. It includes open and closed roads as well as where public parking will be.
According to Southern Illinois Airport Manager Gary Shafer, the airport closed the entrance at 9 p.m. Friday and remained closed until 7 a.m. on Saturday.
The airport has 1,200 parking spots as well as off-site parking approved by the White House with a shuttle service. There is no overnight parking, vending, or merchandise allowed.
Shafer said 10,000 people are expected.
According to Rep. Terri Bryant, 8,500 people went through metal detectors at the event and into the hangar.
“[The] White House tells us they’re expecting up to 10,000 people for the event so the vast majority of people are not going to be able to park at the airport,” Shaffer said. “They’re arranging offsite parking and shuttle service. I just don’t have the answers right now as far as where they are and frequency of travel and so forth."
Plenty of folks will get to the airport as soon as possible, including Murphysboro pilot Jim Zimmer who said he's expecting a lot of people to be waiting in line on the highway.
Zimmer said other notable figures have visited the airport including President Ronald Reagan, but he thinks seeing President Trump will be the icing on the cake.
“It doesn’t really matter what party you are,” said Jim Zimmer, a pilot from Murphysboro. “If you’re Republican, Democrat or Independant, the idea of the office of the President being here in Murphysboro Illinois. I mean golly you always see him going to Dallas, or Chicago, or something but to come here to be expecting the crowd of people that is going to be out here. It’s crazy, It’s nuts.”
Attendees cannot carry anything into the event but their appropriate ID. Metal detectors will be in place for attendees as well, according to Shafer.
The airport’s general manager says that umbrellas, chairs, and coolers were not allowed inside the hangar where President Trump will speak. As for what you can bring in, you needed a form of identification and one member of the security team said you could have cell phones and small cameras.
There was a marked area for demonstrators.
A White House advance official said the aircraft at the airport on Friday was a supply plane for Saturday’s event. It is C-17 Air Force plane, heavily outfitted with Chevy Tahoes driven out of the plane with big antennas.
“I’m honored to have the president visit Southern Illinois,” said Rep. Bost. “President Trump enjoys wide support in southern Illinois for good reason. I’ve worked with him to bring 800 steel jobs back in Granite City, reform the VA, and give working families a $2,200 tax cut.”
The doors opened at 1:30 p.m. and the event started at 4:30 p.m.
One fan was sitting in line almost 24 hours in advance for the event.
“I wanna be first in line,” said Mike Boatman. “I want the best seat in the house. I mean he pumps everybody up. I mean he tells everybody everything that he is done i mean all the promises that he has kept I mean, he’s great”
Carbondale Police Department will be assisting the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Secret Service with vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the airport and just outside the city limits.
When he leaves Murphysboro, the President will head back to Washington, D.C.
On November 1, he will rally for Senate candidate and Attorney General Josh Hawley in Columbia, Missouri. You can click here for more information.