President arrives in Montana Thursday, what you need to know
MISSOULA, Mont. —
The president of the United States is coming to Montana Thursday. Donald Trump will be the 17th sitting president to do so and the sixth to visit Great Falls.
Trump is hosting military families for a picnic and fireworks at the White House for the Fourth of July, but in less than 24 hours he’ll be arriving in the Treasure State.
The Montana ExpoPark in Great Falls is locked up with no overnight campouts allowed. Three gates are scheduled to open at 10:30 a.m., but that could change depending on Secret Service. Doors are scheduled to open at 1 p.m. with the event kicking off at 4 p.m.
Everywhere outside the Four Seasons Arena is under the jurisdiction of Cascade County. Once you enter the building you’re under the control of the Secret Service.
The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office says attendees will see a very strong law enforcement presence and should expect long lines and let protesters exercise their freedom of speech peacefully.
Lines will form to the south side of the building, while an area for peaceful protests will be located to the west of the arena, directly in front of the FFA barn.
There will be parking attendants directing vehicles, but county officials say you can expect a long walk.
Items that are restricted include weapons of any kind, such as guns, knives or pepper spray, and no alcohol. The sheriff’s office says to leave the lawn chairs and coolers at home, because you’ll have to dump them before going inside, and there will be picnic tables and concessions available. Medical sharps and other devices will be evaluated by the Secret Service. No posters, banners or signs can be brought in, and no professional cameras with detachable lens or tripods, monopods, selfie sticks or Go Pros will be allowed.
IDs are not required for entry and there is no dress code.
Cascade County Commissioner Joe Briggs said they’re expecting a full house. The Four Seasons Arena has a capacity of 6,600 people, but this event will have less due to floor seating.
Trump is coming to Great Falls to rally for U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale after promising that Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester would "have a big price to pay" for his role in sinking Trump's Veterans' Affairs nominee.
In April Trump tweeted, “Allegations made by Senator Jon Tester against admiral/doctor Ron Jackson are proving false. The Secret Service is unable to confirm (in fact they deny) any of the phony democrat charges which have absolutely devastated the wonderful Jackson family. Tester should resign. The great people of Montana will not stand for this kind of slander when talking of a great human being.”
The Democratic staff said their allegations on Jackson’s prescribing practices and accusations of drunkenness on the job were based on conversations with 23 of Jackson’s current and former colleagues at the White House Medical Unit.
NBC Montana will be in Great Falls for Thursday’s rally and will bring updates on NBCMontana.com, Facebook and on-air.