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Trump: 'We love this state. And we love New York values'

Donald Trump drew wild cheers in First Niagara Center on Monday as he vowed to bring jobs back to Buffalo, took on Hillary Clinton and defined "New York values" as the courage seen during the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

"We love this state," Trump said. "And we love New York values."

Trump touched on everything from building a wall along the Mexican border to denouncing "Lyin' Ted" Cruz and trade agreements during his speech.

"We're going to win so much, you're going to get tired of winning," Trump told a crowd of supporters that filled about two-thirds of First Niagara Center. "You're going to be saying from Buffalo, 'please, please, Mr. President, we don't want any more business. We're going too much business. We're making too much money.'"

After touching on the number of manufacturing jobs that have left Buffalo since the 1960s, Trump turned to a more somber tone as he described "New York values" as those displayed by firefighters, police officers and others in the days after Sept. 11, 2001.

"In our darkest moments as a city, we showed the world the very best of America," Trump told 11,425 people gathered inside the arena to hear his speech.

He also said he expects to win the 1,237 delegates he would need to clinch the nomination on the first vote at the Republican convention.

"You're going to say, 'that's the greatest single vote I've ever cast,'" Trump said.

Trump prompted chants of "U.S.A., U.S.A." from thousands of supporters during the speech inside the arena. Outside, about 300 protesters rallied throughout the event. Buffalo Police said there were six arrests outside the arena for minor infractions, mainly disorderly conduct and trespassing.


Watch Trump's speech via The Buffalo News' Facebook Live feed:


Here's how the rally unfolded, with updates from Robert J. McCarthy, Jerry Zremski, Maki Becker, Lou Michel, Qina Liu, Sandra Tan, T.J. Pignataro, Derek Gee, Mark Mulville and Harry Scull:

9:50 p.m.: Supporters who attended the rally told Sandra Tan after the speech they were impressed by the level of camaraderie and pleasantness during the event.

"There was that whole feeling of patriotism," said Trump supporter Christy Feightner.

Heather Maglio thought Trump did a good job localizing his speech.

"I liked that he really researched the economic statistics of Buffalo," said Maglio, noting that he mentioned companies that once had a local presence, including Nabisco.


9:14 p.m.: Buffalo Police said 11,425 people attended the Trump rally inside First Niagara Center.

Supporters listen as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the First Niagara Center on Monday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Supporters listen as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the First Niagara Center on Monday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)


9:12 p.m.: Sources told Lou Michel that there were six arrests outside the arena and 20 ejections from inside First Niagara Center.


9:11 p.m.: Protesters who left the area were met with a heavy police presence near the Metro, where those leaving the rally packed the train.


8:31 p.m.: Trump finishes his speech by promising success on many fronts. In the words of Sandra Tan:


8:29 p.m.: Voters won't regret supporting Trump, he says.


8:26 p.m: Trump circled back to his core issues several times during the speech and promised to clean up what he called a "rigged" election system.

"We're going to un-rig the system, and then we're going to clean up the system, OK," Trump said. "We're going to clean it up."

Among the top issues he promised to tackle, if elected, were:

- Negotiating better trade deals
- Strengthening the military
- Beating ISIS
- Taking care of vets
- Repealing and replacing Obamacare
- Protecting the Second Amendment
- Ending Common Core

"And we will build that wall," Trump said to applause.


8:22 p.m.: Police armed with batons moved the protesters on Main Street back to allow trains through.


8:17 p.m.: "I don't want to act more presidential until I win this thing," Trump said. "Do we agree?" Cheers erupted.

In an interview with The News' Robert McCarthy last week, Trump said that he would "make that pivot" -- to a more "presidential" demeanor -- at the right time.


8:14 p.m.: Outside the arena, protesters remain active. They're marching along Main Street, which they've blocked to cars and trains.

 


8:09 p.m.: Trump isn't worried about the outcome of Tuesday's New York primaries ... or November's general election.


8:06 p.m.: Trump pointed to the Great Wall of China as evidence that he'll be able to build a wall along the Mexican border -- and it will be a tall wall.

He pointed to his background of development in New York City as further proof that he will get the wall built.


7:59 p.m.: The crowd is cheering wildly as Trump lists the things "we" want: an end to Isis, and end to the Common Core, and "strong, strong borders" to end illegal immigration, among them. Chants of "build that wall" were met by Trump's vow: "We will build that wall."



7:57 p.m.: Trump touched on some controversial comments made by one of his opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz, on "New York values":


7:54 p.m.: Several protesters have been forcibly removed from the arena.



7:44 p.m.: Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Donald Trump to the cheers of thousands of people inside First Niagara Center tonight, who kicked off the event with shouts of "U.S.A., U.S.A."

"We're all here tonight because we support Donald Trump," Ryan said. "Donald Trump has the courage to say it. And, that's what I respect."

And then Trump took the stage.

The arena was about two-thirds full as the speeches began, with supporters filling up the floor and seats in the 100 and 200 levels. Thousands of Donald Trump fans encountered shouting protesters as they entered First Niagara Center, but few incidents, aside from shouting matches between supporters and protesters, were reported.

The rally tonight is Trump's final campaign appearance before Tuesday's primary in New York.

 


7:35 p.m. Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan warmed up the crowd with a football story.

"One thing I really admire about him is, you know what? He'll say what's on his mind," Rex told the crowd.


7:18 p.m.: Enthusiastic supporters in the arena donned red hats, waived signs and dressed in red, white and blue.

Alexis Dent, 22, of Cheektowaga, who wore an American flag jump suit with red and white stripes and stars.

"I like America," said Dent, explaining why she supported Trump. "He doesn't believe in big money and politics. He wants to keep American jobs."

She added, "I like Bernie for the same reasons, but if you tell people you like Bernie, people call you a 'Commie.'"


7:06 p.m.: Protesters outside the arena shouted, "Black Lives Matter," as the event heated up inside. One sign read, "No Racism. No Fascism. No Trump." About 300 protesters gathered outside First Niagara Center on Perry Street, where police officers and a barricade kept them apart from supporters entering the rally.

"I'm fighting fire with fire," a transgender protester who called herself Florian Fawna said. "You can't let these tyrannical suppressors, these bigots, take over. I'm doing this with good intention."


7:04 p.m.: Those in attendance got a reminder not to harm protesters as they waited for Donald Trump to arrive.


7:02 p.m.: Buffalo developer and former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino fired up the crowd before Donald Trump's appearance.

Carl Paladino speaks prior to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the First Niagara Center on Monday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Carl Paladino speaks prior to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the First Niagara Center on Monday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)


6:56 p.m.: Trump's motorcade arrived.


6:55 p.m.: Seats were still open in the 300 level at First Niagara Center as the speeches began. Thousands filled the floor and seats in the 100 and 200 levels.


6:49 p.m.: Rep. Chris Collins, the former Erie County executive, drew on his own experience as a business leader who is now in office as he rallied the crowd.

"With our next president, we are going to win again," Collin said. "With our next president, we are going to elect a chief executive, not a chief politician."


6:34 p.m. Thousands of Donald Trump supporters encountered shouting protesters as they entered First Niagara Center this evening ahead of a Donald Trump rally scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Few incidents, aside from shouting matches between supporters and protesters, were reported as people filed in to what will be Trump's final campaign appearance before Tuesday's primary in New York.

Inside the arena, seats filled up, lines gathered for pizza and supporters cheered at videos as they waited for the event to begin. At one point, chants of "Build that Wall" echoed through the center.

Outside, about 300 protesters gathered, some carrying signs and heckling those entering. They included about 40 striking Verizon workers who chanted, "What do we want? Jobs. Where do we want them? America."

Police earlier warned that spectators should expect greater screening and longer delays than a typical event at First Niagara Center, which can hold up to 18,000 people.

Trump's rally is the grand finale of what has been more than a week of campaign events in Western New York as candidates sought to woo New York voters ahead of Tuesday's primary. Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said earlier Monday that he will be among the lineup of speakers introducing Trump tonight.

"I'm a Democrat at heart, but I'm supporting Trump," said Maureen Portman, a teacher who was among those who arrived early to see Trump. "He's a smart man. He might have an ego, but he gets the job done."


6:24 p.m.: With less than an hour to go, plenty of people were still entering the arena.


6:16 p.m.: Protesters shouted at people entering the rally in a loud scene on Perry Street outside First Niagara Center.


5:57 p.m.: Seats continue to fill up inside First Niagara Center.


5:50 p.m.: Police moved back a barricade separating protesters from those entering the rally on Perry Street after an intense couple of minutes of shouting between the two groups.

"Red, white, yellow, brown," some protesters shouted. "No hate in this town."

Others chanted, "The people united will never be divided."


5:43 p.m.: Supporters inside the arena watched videos with clips of Trump as they waited for the rally to begin.


5:13 p.m. The scene outside the arena included protesters holding an eclectic collection of signs. One read, "Smash White Supremacy. No to Fascist Trump." Some held up signs supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Trump protestors line Perry St before the rally at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Monday. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Trump protestors line Perry St before the rally at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Monday. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


5:01 p.m.: A three-car accident on the 190-North at Church Street could affect those attending tonight's rally, Buffalo Police report.


4:58 p.m.: Seats across from Trump's podium were filling up, while many supporters planned to stand on the floor during the rally.


4:53 p.m.: Trump is expected to arrive at about 5:30 p.m. for a VIP session.


4:50 p.m.: North Tonawanda resident Jim Thiel Jr., 35, was among those drawn to support Donald Trump by concerns about the economy.

"It's a huge issue for me, because manufacturing is going down the hill," said Thiel, a machinist who attended the rally with his father, Jim Thiel Sr.

"We need proper trade deals made by knowledgeable business people to bring back some of the jobs to the United States that we've lost," Jim Thiel Sr. said.

Liz Reinhardt, of the Town of Tonawanda, said three things led her to support Trump. ""Building up our military, his stance on immigration and taking on ISIS," Reinhardt said. "That's the three hooks that got me."


4:45 p.m.: Inside the arena, those gathered in the front row sported "Make America Great Again" hats.


4:43 p.m. Reporters outside First Niagara Center counted about three dozen protesters by late afternoon. There was also a heavy police presence.


 

4:13 p.m. The crowd inside the arena has grown to more than 2,300.


4:10 p.m.: Trump supporter Jari Tiebor of Cheektowaga was among those who had lined up well before the doors opened shortly before 4 p.m.

 

Trump supporter Jari Tiebor of Cheektowaga was among the first in line for the Trump rally outside First Niagara Center on Monday. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)


3:56 p.m.: A line of about 1,000 people who had been waiting in line to enter First Niagara Center flowed into the venue shortly before 4 p.m.


3:50 p.m. Hundreds waited in line before the doors opened at 4 p.m.

Donald Trump supporters line up before the rally at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Monday. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Donald Trump supporters line up before the rally at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Monday. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


 

3:45 p.m.: The rally drew plenty of vendors hoping to make a buck.

Tony Ensminger, a vendor from Cleveland, Ohio, was among about two dozen vendors hawking t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers.

"There's normally miles of Trump supporters and usually dozens of protesters," said Ensminger, who said he has traveled to dozens of political rallies. "I wonder if the media will show the blocks and blocks of peaceful Trump supporters."

Yana Koleva, 22, a native of Bulgaria who now lives in Florida, was with a band of five vendors who are traveling around the country in a caravan to sell campaign paraphernalia at political rallies.

"You've got to do what you've go to do," said Koleva, who was looking forward to a day off on Tuesday before heading to Indianapolis on Wednesday. "Sometimes, it's rough. People don't treat us nice, the protesters."


 

3:27 p.m.: Buffalo developer Carl Paladino, a Trump supporter and former gubernatorial candidate, has arrived.


3 p.m.: Rex Ryan and Donald Trump in the same arena?

That will be the case tonight when the Buffalo Bills coach introduces the presidential candidate at Trump's rally at First Niagara Center.

During a news conference following the Bills' first day of their offseason conditioning program, Ryan said he would be making the introduction of Trump, who was in the running to purchase the Bills before the club was acquired by Terry and Kim Pegula.

Asked if Trump had Ryan's support for the Republican nomination, the coach said, "I'm going to introduce him, that's a true statement. But I'm not going to say who my endorsement is and all that stuff.

-- Vic Carucci


2:45 p.m.: People are already queuing up to see Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump speak in Buffalo -- and in some cases, they've been waiting for hours.

"It's truly something special," said Lawrence Chirico, who has been in line since 2 a.m., of the Trump phenomenon that has energized voters. He was joined by two high school students from Rochester at about 8 a.m.

By 2:45 p.m., the line had grown substantially.

Security measures for people entering the arena are going to be more lengthy and time-consuming than usual, police warned Monday.

“The screening is more like an airport screening rather than the screening at a Sabres game,” Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo told reporters.

Doors open at 4 p.m.


While we wait for doors to open, here's some related coverage that has run in The News in the last few weeks:

Trump reignites outsider fervor that energized Paladino emergence

Michael R. Caputo recalls the night two years ago when Carl P. Paladino seemed to “click” with Donald Trump.

Meeting at a Manhattan restaurant with other Buffalonians, Paladino was unsuccessfully imploring Trump to run for governor of New York in 2014, said Caputo, the local political strategist who ran Paladino’s campaign and is now assisting Trump. The pair seemed to feed on each other, Caputo said, as well as on the anger and resentment toward Albany that they encountered throughout New York State.

“It was like they would finish each other’s sentences,” Caputo said. “He told him, ‘I think you can succeed where we failed. What I couldn’t do, I think you can.’ ”

The New York primary: What you need to know

Tuesday’s New York presidential primaries are the most important in decades – but they’re also hugely complicated. Here’s a look at what you need to know to understand the results.

What’s at stake?

In one way, it’s simple. There are 95 delegates at stake on the Republican side and 291 on the Democratic side. But that’s only part of the story.

For the Republicans, three delegates will be at stake in each of the state’s congressional districts, for a total of 81. If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a congressional district, he will get all three delegates. Otherwise, the winner will get two and the runner-up will get one – or if the vote is roughly tied three ways, each candidate will get a delegate. A total of 14 “at large” and “automatic” delegates will be apportioned according to the statewide results.

Buffalo’s Muslim immigrants are wary of Trump and Cruz

Aden Ali of Buffalo has a lot riding on the outcome of the presidential election. The Somali immigrant has a wife and two children in Kenya, awaiting clearance to join him here.

But Donald Trump says he wants to block Muslim refugees from entering the United States, and Ali, who is Muslim, worries about the possibility if Trump is elected president.

“If he wins the presidency, how are my wife and kids going to come to this country?” said Ali, who works as a machine operator at a local chocolate maker.

Grassroots Trump volunteers defy easy labels

Thousands are expected to fill First Niagara Center on Monday to hear Donald Trump.

In the crowd will be dozens who have already been on buses for him.

They traveled months ago to places in New Hampshire, Ohio and South Carolina – battleground primary states – and went door-to-door or made phone calls to drum up support for Trump.

Some were lifelong Republicans. Some had just registered for the party. Others had been Democrats all their lives.

And the bus riders couldn’t be pigeonholed by gender or class, either.

“There was one who collected bottles and cans, and another guy who was a millionaire,” said organizer Jul Thompson.

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