Thousands of American-flag-waving Trump supporters descended upon Newport Beach on Sunday in anticipation of the president’s arrival for a fundraiser to bolster his reelection bid on Nov. 3.
Red MAGA hats were ubiquitous in the crowd and masks were scant. The sound of country music mingled with shouts of “Four more years!”
Meanwhile, hundreds of Armenian Americans joined the demonstration, in a show of solidarity with Armenia in its battle with neighboring Azerbaijan over a small separatist region on the border of the former Soviet republics. They demanded that Trump take action against Turkey, which has expressed support for Azerbaijan.
“Armenia needs Trump!” a protester, his shoulders draped in the orange, red and blue Armenian flag, yelled into a megaphone. “Save Christian Armenia!” Many of the Armenian American demonstrators were also Trump supporters.
Melimeh Soukiasian, 36, of Los Angeles said she wasn’t sure yet who she’ll cast a vote for in November, but said she would support Trump if he spoke out against Turkey’s actions.
“Our U.S. tax dollars are funding the weapons that are being used to target civilians and hospitals, sacred churches in Armenia,” she said.
Trump is in Orange County for a fundraiser at the home of Palmer Luckey, a 28-year-old tech mogul. The Long Beach native, among California’s top GOP donors, is working on a defense start-up whose projects include using technology to detect immigrants crossing illegally over the border.
Luckey’s Lido Isle mansion overlooks Newport Bay and sits at the tip of a manmade island that is home to about 800 residences and connected to Newport Beach by a two-lane bridge.
Times staff writer Seema Mehta contributed to this story.