President Trump fires up supporters at Evansville MAGA rally

Historic visit shines light on Indiana businessman Mike Braun

Trump fires up supporters in Evansville

EVANSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of thousands in Evansville on Thursday night for what the White House dubbed a “Make America Great Again” rally.

Trump brought out the talking points that have become familiar in these types of rallies, particularly tax cuts and the health of the economy. He also threw jabs at the Justice Department and the FBI, as well as his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.

“Let’s see if she gets away with it,” he said, prompting chants of “Lock her up” from the crowd of approximately 11,000 gathered at the Ford Center in downtown Evansville.

Thursday’s visit was the first by a sitting president since Ronald Reagan spoke in Evansville in 1986.

WAVE 3 News sister station WFIE in Evansville reported hundreds were already waiting in line outside the Ford Center before dawn Thursday morning, all hoping to snag a good view of the 45th President of the United States. The president began speaking shortly before 8:30 p.m ET.

Hundreds lined up ahead of Trump MAGA rally in Evansville

Trump’s visit also was planned in part to ramp up support of businessman Mike Braun, who is running for the senate seat as a Republican candidate. His opponent in one of this year’s most closely-watched senate races in America is Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

Donnelly, known to be one of the most bipartisan senators in the country, issued a statement following Trump’s speech that lasted about 73 minutes.

“We’re always happy to have President Trump in Indiana, but Hoosiers still want a senator who always puts them first before any politician or political party,” he said in the statement. "They know that’s what I’ve been for them, and it’s what I’ll continue to be as their Senator next year.”

In the 2016 presidential election, Indiana was the second state called in Trump’s favor, just minutes after he carried Kentucky.

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