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The Latest: Trump holds rally before cheering Montana crowd

May 26, 2016 - 4:45 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. - The Latest on Donald Trump's rally in Billings (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Donald Trump says he came to Montana because he wanted his campaign to stop in every state, but now he plans to focus on 15 key states he needs to win November's election.

Trump spoke for about 50 minutes in Billings Thursday after securing enough delegates to lock up the Republican presidential nomination.

He opened by scanning the crowd for his son's Montana hunting buddies and pledging to protect the Second Amendment.

He then bashed Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and the news media in quick succession within the first three minutes of taking the stage.

As the crowd cheered Trump on inside the arena, three people stood outside in an area designated for protesters.

One of them, Rachel Rosin of Huntley, says she was surprised and amazed there weren't more protesters.


3:35 p.m.

Donald Trump supporters say the New York businessman's clinch of the Republican presidential nomination makes the hours-long wait for his Montana even more worthwhile.

Trump is holding a rally in Billings Thursday after giving a speech on energy policy in North Dakota. Earlier in the day, Trump secured enough delegates to lock up the GOP nomination.

Throngs of people waved signs and wore caps emblazoned with the Trump campaign motto "Make America Great Again."

Darin Dupree of Billings arrived hours before the rally began. The 53-year-old military veteran and convenience store worker says he believes Trump will create jobs and help the everyday man.

Another Billings man, Bruce Bahm, says he spent the night in a folding chair in the arena's parking lot to be first in line. Bahm says he will do everything he can to get Trump elected.


3 a.m.

Donald Trump plans a Thursday rally in Montana's largest city as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee seeks support from Treasure State voters.

The event at MetraPark Arena in Billings comes as the state's Republican leadership starts to coalesce around the New York businessman's campaign.

A spokeswoman for Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines says an announcement is planned at the rally, but she did not elaborate. The Montana lawmaker said previously Trump was not his first or second choice for president.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke formally endorsed Trump on Wednesday.

Montana's primary is June 7, with Trump the only major Republican candidate still in the race.

Thursday's rally follows recent appearances in Montana by Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders and former President Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife, Hillary.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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