Here's what happened at the Trump rally in Orlando

Supporters line up outside Amway Center 40 hours before event begins

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will officially announce his re-election bid in Orlando.

The rally, held at the Amway Center, has drawn early crowds, with some lining up in downtown Orlando more than 40 hours before the event begins. Trump is scheduled to speak around 8 p.m.

Several protests will also be held in nearby locations.

Trump tweeted Monday that there have been more than 100,000 ticket requests for the rally. The Amway Center holds 20,000.

Get the latest information about what's happening with the updates below.

6:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump arrives at the Orlando International Airport.

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump's rally is set to begin. Click here to watch it live.

5:30 p.m. 

Crowds are still pouring in. 

 

 

5:25 p.m.

Matt Austin interviews Mike Pence.

 

5:15 p.m.

The "Baby Trump balloon" is about to fly over Orlando, where President Donald Trump will later announce his re-election bid.

A GoFundMe account raised $3,900 in one day to bring the blimp out to the Win With Love rally, which is being held about a half-mile from the Amway Center, where 20,000 supporters will watch Trump's announcement, scheduled for 8 p.m.

5 p.m. 

Three hours until President Donald J. Trump’s rally is set to kick off in Orlando. Here’s what it looks like outside the Amway Center right now.

4:35 p.m.

Erik Sandoval with an update from inside the Amway Center.

 

PHOTOS: Inside the Amway Center for President Trump's rally


4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after his departure for Orlando.

4:10 p.m. 

 Brianna Volz and Vanessa Araiza are live outside the Amway Center.

Some signs around downtown Orlando are against President Trump. 

Sign in downtown Orlando against President Trump.

Sign in downtown Orlando against President Trump.

Sign in downtown Orlando against President Trump.

Sign in downtown Orlando against President Trump.

3:45 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence arrived at the Amway Center, a little more than two hours before the event kicksoff.

3:30 p.m.

A News 6 intern takes a look at the crowd still waiting in line.

 

3:11 p.m.

Air Force Two, carrying Vice President Mike Pence touches down in Orlando ahead of President Donald Trump's re-election rally at the Amway Center.

Trump is scheduled to arrive at OIA around 6:20 p.m.

The rally is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., with Trump taking the stage around 8 p.m.

3:10 p.m.

Matt Austin has arrived inside the Amway Center.

Trooper Steve has started preparing for traffic alerts.

 

2:50 p.m.

Officials announced that Vice President Mike Pence will arrive at Orlando International Airport at 3:15 p.m., about 45 minutes earlier than originally planned.

[WATCH LIVE IN VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE: Air Force Two arrives in Orlando]

2:20 p.m.

Erik Sandoval shows the long lines of Trump supporters braving the storm that passed through downtown Orlando.

2 p.m. 

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday afternoon shows that former Vice President Joseph Biden leads President Donald Trump 50 - 41 percent in Florida while Sen. Bernia Sanders leads Trump 48-42 percent.

"Florida Republicans have won the last five major statewide elections, all by very close margins, but Sunshine State Democrats see these very early numbers as a sign that their losing streak might be coming to an end," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said.

2 p.m.

A boisterous crowd of thousands of supporters has gathered in front of the Amway Center arena in Orlando, Florida, hours before President Donald Trump will hold a rally to formally launch his reelection campaign.

A cover band on a stage played Southern rock standards such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home, Alabama."

Vendors for blocks around sold water, as well as pins, hats and T-shirts with slogans including "Trump 2020" and "ICE ICE Baby." In the summer heat, some women wore "Make America Great Again" bathing suits.

Fifty-six-year-old Margaret McDeed says she came from Tampa and supports Trump because "his policies are for the American people." She adds that, as a tax accountant, she's seen savings from the Republican-backed tax cuts.

Thirty-three year old Alex Fuentes wore a shirt that said "Make Democrats cry again." The rally is set to begin at 8 p.m. local time.

1:50 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he will live stream a response immediately after Trump's speech Tuesday night. Users can watch on YouTube once he goes live.

1:45 p.m.

Storms dropped rain on Orlando, where a large crowd has gathered ahead of President Donald Trump's huge rally Tuesday night. 

ClickOrlando.com's Bri Volz scrambled to safety, but those waiting in line for the rally were not as fortunate.

 

 

1:35 p.m.

The Orlando Sentinel says it won't endorse the president.

The Sentinel said in an editorial Tuesday that some readers may wonder how the publication can eliminate a candidate before anyone knows who his opponent will be, so far in advance.

The Sentinel answers that it's "because there's no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump."

The publication said it has had enough of "the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies."

The chair of the local Republican Party didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

1:30 p.m.

Radar shows a line of storms stretching across Central Florida, including Orlando, where thousands have gathered ahead of President Donald Trump's re-election rally.

Check out live radar in the video player below:

1:20 p.m.

PHOTOS: Rally attendees out on the street of downtown Orlando. 

1 p.m.

Here’s what it looks like in downtown Orlando just seven hours before the big event.

12:45 p.m. 

Check out News 6 at Noon team coverage on the Trump rally in Orlando, featuring reports from Mark Lehman, Nadeen Yanes and Ezzy Castro.

12:30 p.m.

Secret Service members stopped a man who was wearing a tactical belt and was found with what appeared to be an AR-15 in downtown Orlando.

The man was let go after authorities determined he wasn't a threat.

Watch Ezzy Castro's report below for more information about enhanced security ahead of President Donald Trump's re-election rally at the Amway Center.

12:05 p.m.

Brianna Volz is in downtown Orlando with a look at security outside the Amway Center.

Sky 6 shows aerial views of crowds gathering for tonight's rally.

12 p.m. 

Politico reporter Gary Fineout tweeted that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will not appear at a protest in Orlando as was initially planned. 

11:30 a.m.

Trump wrote in an email to supporters that he wants to raise $7 million by midnight to fund his re-election campaign. Anyone who donates at least $5 will have their name broadcast on the president's campaign website.

11:15 a.m.
Orlando International Airport officials urged travelers to allow for extra time to navigate airport property on Tuesday. Access roads are expected to be impacted beginning at 2 p.m. and spanning through the evening.

"We encourage those traveling to budget extra time to navigate around airport property. At this time, we anticipate minimum interruption to airport operations as a result of today’s activities. However, inclement weather forecasts for this afternoon could also affect airport traffic," officials said in a news release.

11:00 a.m.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his wife will meet President Donald Trump when he arrives at Orlando International Airport.


WATCH: Trooper Steve shares logistics of President Trump's arrival

10:40 a.m.

Following his rally in Orlando to announce his re-election bid, President Donald Trump will talk with Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The newspaper said Trump will talk by phone with the “Hannity” host at 9 p.m.

Trump is expected to discuss the Orlando rally, tensions with Iran, his upcoming meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and more.

10 a.m.

Crowds continue to grow before the arena doors open at 4 p.m.

9:20 a.m. 

Division Avenue has been shut down by police ahead of today's rally.

8:40 a.m.

"Wild" like a rock concert.

That's how President Donald Trump envisions his campaign kickoff rally in Orlando on Tuesday night.

To Trump, Republican enthusiasm is at an all-time high. But the political event is also drawing protesters.

Trump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. In a tweet, he says: "People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild -- See you later!"

Some supporters started lining up Monday to attend the event.

Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. The city is home to a large Puerto Rican population and it's also where a shooting at a gay nightclub killed 49 people three years ago.

8:10 a.m.

President Trump supporters, some who lined up 40 hours before Tuesday night's rally in downtown Orlando, have been moved into a fenced-in area across from the Amway Center.

Officials said 20,000 will be allowed inside the arena when the doors open at 4 p.m. Everyone else will watch the rally on a big screen outside.

President Trump holds a rally in Orlando.

President Trump holds a rally in Orlando.

President Trump holds a rally in Orlando.

8 a.m.

SunRail will add more trains to its schedule Tuesday night following President Donald Trump's rally in Orlando.

Beginning at 10 p.m., SunRail will operate three northbound and three southbound trains departing exclusively from Church Street Station.

"These trains will be boarded to capacity and then depart," SunRail said. "Overflow riders who cannot board due to capacity issues should make note of rideshare lots and other alternative ride services from the downtown."

The trains will be drop-off service only to all stations, meaning station stops will be limited only to passengers exiting the train at their final destinations. Trains will not be picking up additional passengers along the way.

[PHOTOS: Trump holds rally in Orlando]

Here's the nighttime train schedule:
 
Northbound Church Street Station Platform (north of South Street):
•    10:15 p.m.
•    10:30 p.m.
•    10:45 p.m.
•    Station stops at: LYNX Central, AdventHealth, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, DeBary
 
Southbound Church Street Station Platform (south of South Street):
•    10:00 p.m.
•    10:15 p.m.
•    10:45 p.m.
•    Station stops at: Orlando Health/Amtrak, Sand Lake Road, Meadow Woods, Tupperware, Kissimmee/Amtrak, Poinciana

SunRail said it reserves the right to limit onboard storage of bicycles and strollers during special events or times when trains are crowded. 

7:45 a.m.

Hours before President Donald Trump's rally in Orlando, where he will announce his re-election bid, he is threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally.

In a pair of tweets Monday night, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States."

"They will be removed as fast as they come in," he wrote.

An administration official said the effort would focus on the more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to explain the president's tweets.

It is unusual for law enforcement agencies to announce raids before they take place. Some in Trump's administration believe that decisive shows of force - like mass arrests - can serve as effective deterrents, sending a message to those considering making the journey to the U.S. that it's not worth coming.

Trump has threatened a series of increasingly drastic actions as he has tried to stem the flow of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, which has risen dramatically on his watch. He recently dropped a threat to slap tariffs on Mexico after the country agreed to dispatch its national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.

A senior Mexican official said Monday that, three weeks ago, about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the U.S. border daily. Now that number has dropped to about 2,600.

Immigration was a central theme of Trump's 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign.

Trump will formally launch his re-election bid Tuesday night at a rally in Orlando, Florida - a state that is crucial to his path back to the White House.

7:35 a.m.

Here's the first look inside the Amway Center, where President Trump will officially announce his re-election bid. 

A massive crowd -- and protests -- are expected in downtown Orlando for the event.

7:30 a.m.

As the crowd grows in downtown Orlando ahead of President Trump's massive re-election rally, there's a 70% chance of rain in Central Florida.

"Grab the rain gear, you're going to need it most of the day," News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said.

Check out his pinpoint forecast for Tuesday in the video below.

7:15 a.m.

City leaders are warning about big crowds, road closures and traffic delays in downtown Orlando for President Trump's campaign rally.

7:10 a.m.

The line continues to grow outside the Amway Center for Tuesday night's re-election launch for President Trump.

6:55 a.m.

Opponents of President Donald Trump's reelection announcement in Florida are launching their protests at a nearby gay bar where a mariachi band and a drag queen will perform.

Organizers of the "Win With Love Rally" say Trump's announcement in Orlando on Tuesday is an affront to a city with a large Puerto Rican population and a visible gay community.

The chairman of the local GOP says protest organizers are wrong to believe that the president is anti-gay or anti-Hispanic. Charles Hart says Trump fights for all Americans.

Organizers of the Trump announcement are hosting an all-day festival -- dubbed "45 Fest" -- outside the Amway Center on Tuesday.

Protest organizers are promising an appearance by the "Baby Trump" blimp at the bar after they raised money to bring it from South Florida.

6:40 a.m.

The President will try to turn back time Tuesday, officially lighting the touch paper on his reelection bid in the embrace of a besotted Florida crowd primed for pure, untamed Donald Trump.

Yet while he never tires of reliving his first White House race and the sweet triumph of election night, Trump must face a truth even he will struggle to deny once the euphoria of his return to the trail abates: 2020 may not be like 2016.

As he targets a second term, Trump must prove he can recast the political spell that defied pundits and probability and delivered one of the most shocking election wins in history, at a different political moment.

This time, he won't just be able to run against the other side and a rotten political establishment. He must defend the most controversial presidential record in decades against a Democratic Party that may be in ideological turmoil but is unified on one goal: ejecting him from the Oval Office.

Cresting crises overseas, endless scandals, personal feuds, the President's flattery of tyrants, impeachment talk and an impossible-to-ignore presidency that's barged into every American's life in a draining two and a half years will complicate Trump's narrative this time.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton repeatedly said Trump was temperamentally, intellectually and personally unfit for the presidency -- now Democrats believe they have the evidence to prove it.

But the President, who repeatedly claimed and proved in 2016 that he was his own best strategist, is keeping faith in the old playbook.

"I'm just telling you I'm going to do it the same way I did it the first time," Trump told ABC News in a recent interview.

That likely means more polarizing anti-immigration campaigns, a return to the cultural warfare that stoked anger among his supporters in 2016 and more attempts to devalue the truths voters depend on to make an informed electoral choice.

Trump seized late Monday on local media reports in Florida, saying "thousands" of supporters were already lining up for the rally the following evening in Orlando.

"Large Screens and food trucks will be there for those that can't get into the 25,000 capacity arena," Trump tweeted. "It will be a very exciting evening! Make America Great Again!"

 

Troubling omens

 

The President will crank up the pace of a campaign he never really shuttered after he won the White House, facing troubling omens that suggest he may struggle to re-create the magic.

His approval ratings are mired in the low 40s -- dangerous territory for a President seeking reelection, and he's presiding over a nation exhausted by investigations, outrageous presidential behavior, and the cultural and social discord he fomented as an instrument of his own power.

There are signs Trump may be in denial about the magnitude of his task, after he fired pollsters who brought him bad news, which was leaked, and he told supporters not to believe anyone who says he's not winning.

Democrats are trying to destroy the Trump coalition at its foundations by challenging his claim to be a champion of "the forgotten men and women" he lionized in his stark inaugural address. In a six-figure digital ad buy anticipating his Florida rally, Democratic super PAC Priorities USA blasted Trump for gutting Obamacare and enriching the wealthy with his tax cut.

"All Trump cares about are the people at the top," says one ad.

Yet no one is writing Trump off, partly because of the strong economy and historically low unemployment that is political gold for an incumbent. He has delivered for many conservatives, seating two new Supreme Court justices and scores of lower court judges in alliance with GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and will expect them to honor their bargain at the ballot box.

The 2020 race will test whether Trump really is an aberration. He will seek to prove that his unconventional character, shameless approach and magnetism to supporters mean that historical trends and the raw data of polls can be tossed out of the window for a second time.

Certainly, analysts who all but consigned him to defeat in 2016 will be more wary of their polling numbers this time because of the way Trump shattered political logic last time around.

 

'American greatness'

 

In an eve-of-launch email, the President tried to revive the underdog spirit that drove a larger-than-expected 2016 turnout.

"When I launched my 2016 Presidential campaign 4 years ago today, the FAKE NEWS media told us that we had NO CHANCE of winning, but I believed in our tremendous potential because of YOU," Trump, still the anti-establishment outsider, wrote.

"You showed them what American Greatness looks like, and we're just getting started," he said.

Trump won the presidency by smashing taboos and tapping into angry anti-elite sentiments most real politicians didn't even hear. He gave voice to Americans left behind in an unequal economy and bent reality to sketch his own version of truth.

His freewheeling, unchained stream-of-consciousness campaign was a revelation. And he stirred resentment and personal liberation among his supporters that drove them into polling places in November 2020.

Within his fired-up crowds, there was an almost anarchic sense of fun that often instead came across in the TV footage as that of a demagogic candidate berating his enemies. One of the key early tests of his campaign will be whether the President can still summon that priceless connection.

Trump destroyed his Republican opponents and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by doing anything it took to win. He's signaling he will do the same again, after suggesting last week that he might look at any dirt on an opponent offered by a foreign power before telling the FBI.

He will have a much more professional, targeted personal campaign machinery to help him after relying mostly on the Republican National Committee in 2016 -- and has already raised nearly $100 million to power his bid for a second term.

The President believes that he will be able to dictate the shape of the campaign much as he did in 2016 -- with streams of tweets that knock his foes off balance.

"I put one out this morning. And as soon as I pressed the button, they said, 'We have breaking news.' Every network, every station. 'We have breaking news.' They read my tweet," Trump told ABC News.

Trump, however, will almost certainly not benefit from the same unfiltered coverage he enjoyed in his 2016 primary campaign from media outlets, which have become wiser to his tricks.

 

Trump's narrow path

 

But it is already clear while he has a credible path back to the White House, Trump has no room for error.

It was one thing to prevail as an outsider with no expectations, who even his campaign didn't expect to win. It's another to make history a second time, with everything to lose and the ignominy of being a one-term President beckoning.

Some 17 months before Election Day, it's already clear Trump has only one way to win -- by reassembling his Midwest blue-collar coalition to add to his dominance in the South, while grabbing a likely narrow victory in Florida, which has 29 electoral votes and where he stunned Clinton in 2016.

He has never made any effort to broaden his support, as most presidents do when eyeing second terms in the knowledge they may struggle to relight the fire of their first runs.

The President kept his base close and energized with a staggering 59 rallies since early 2017, according to a CNN count, letting off steam and offering programing for the conservative media machine.

The strategy was a success in that Trump regularly polls in the high 80s among Republican voters, and has remade the party around his populist, nationalist image.

But almost all of his rallies were in solid Trump country, reflecting the base-or-nothing strategy that depends on the same huge GOP enthusiasm as 2016 and a depressed Democratic turnout that seems less likely given the angst among liberals over the President.

Early polling numbers are not predictive, but Trump is going out of his way to dismiss leaked internal polls that appear to show him in trouble in key swing states and that raise questions about his limited voter net.

Most national matchup polls also show Trump losing to most Democratic candidates -- with Joe Biden especially strong -- one reason why sources have told CNN that Trump has been peppering his staff with concerns about the former vice president.

The Democratic front-runner on Monday looked to poke the President's insecurities a little bit more ahead of his big Florida announcement.

"I plan on campaigning in the South. I plan and if I'm your nominee, I plan on winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, believe it or not," Biden said. "And I believe we can win Texas and Florida, if we look at the polling data now."

MONDAY

7:41 a.m.

More than 40 hours before President Donald Trump will announce his re-election bid in Orlando, supporters started lining up outside the Amway Center.

Eight Trump supporters started camping out Monday morning, with the first one showing up at 2:30 a.m. The rally is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Gary Beck, a Trump supporter from Panama City, was the first in line.

"There's going to be a bunch of people, and it's going to be pretty intense," Beck said. "The electricity is going to be high. It's time for America to get back on its feet and be made better than it's ever been before."

Trump tweeted Monday that the rally "looks to be setting records," with more than 100,000 ticket requests. The Amway Center seats 20,000.

"We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody," Trump tweeted.

The visit marks Trump's first campaign event in Orlando since he ended his 2016 presidential campaign with a "Thank You Tour" stop at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

[RELATED: Baby Trump balloon coming to Orlando for president's visit]

Trump's last visit to the Orlando area was in October 2018 when he spoke at the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the Orange County Convention Center.

What to know about Trump's visit

Ticket requests for the event have quadrupled the capability of the Amway Center, which holds 20,000 people. The president said in a tweet last week the event will be “the hottest of them all,” with 74,000 ticket requests already made for the event. He upped that number to 100,000 in a tweet Monday morning.

[RELATED: President Trump to announce re-election bid at Orlando rally | President Trump says Orlando announcement 'hottest ticket of them all']

This will be Trump's first campaign event in Orlando since he ended his 2016 presidential campaign with a "Thank You Tour" stop at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the rally.

A ticket does not guarantee entry

Anyone interested in attending the rally can click here to register for tickets, however, a ticket does not guarantee entry to the event, according to Trump 2020 campaign National Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

“Orlando rally entry is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so a ticket doesn’t necessarily guarantee entry," McEnany said in a statement to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Campaign security and U.S. Secret Service will close the entrance once the building reaches capacity, according to Amway Center.

Viewing outside Amway Center

"There will be screens outside the venue to watch the rally once capacity is reached,” McEnany said in her statement, which also noted that a "Trump tailgater" would be held outside starting at 10 a.m.

What not to bring

Leave your laser pointers and air horns at home. There is a list of items attendees are asked not to bring into the venue. Click here for the full list.

Timeline

Doors to the Amway Center open at 4 p.m. and the event starts at 8 p.m.

Parking

Parking around the Amway Center will be extremely limited due to security for the event. Attendees are encouraged to  car pool, rideshare and take advantage of public transportation. Find more on that later on in the story.

The GEICO parking garage may not be available due to the needs of the president's campaign and U.S. Secret Service.

[READ: Contract between Trump campaign and city]

Parking in city-owned garages will only be available for purchase on site on the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the Amway Center.

View a map of the parking options here.

Sunrail

SunRail will operate its normal service schedule until 10 p.m. Tuesday. After 10 p.m., SunRail will operate three northbound and three southbound trains departing from the Church Street Station.

Here is the extended nighttime schedule for June 18:

Northbound Church Street Station Platform (north of South Street):

10:15 p.m.
10:30 p.m.
10:45 p.m.

Station stops at LYNX Central, AdventHealth, Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, DeBary

Southbound Church Street Station Platform (south of South Street):

10 p.m.
10:15 p.m.
10:45 p.m.
Station stops at Orlando Health/Amtrak, Sand Lake Road, Meadow Woods, Tupperware, Kissimmee/Amtrak, Poinciana

Traffic

Roads around Amway Center in downtown Orlando will be impacted by Trump's visit. The following roads immediately around the event center will be closed:

Central Boulevard
Anderson Street
South Street
Garland Avenue
Division Avenue
Church Street

View the road closure map here.

The U.S. Secret Service may close additional roads, including parts of I-4, if necessary.

 

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