Street brawls broke out last night as protesters burned the Stars and Stripes during President Donald Trump‘s $15million fundraising visit to Los Angeles.
There were furious skirmishes outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday when anti-Trump demonstrators were set upon while trying to set the US flag on fire.
Riot police were deployed to deal with the violence and a massive baby blimp of the President flew over Palo Alto as he met with wealthy Republicans to pick up funds for his 2020 re-election bid.
The usual traffic chaos during the LA rush hour was dialed up as joyous Trump supporters and raging self-styled anti-fascists followed Trump’s movements.
Officers were forced to separate the two groups and detained some of the more violent members, but did not make any arrests, CBS reported.
Trump supporter, Gregg Donovan, told the broadcaster: ‘I was very disappointed in both sides. I took a neutral stance. I just stood there with my sign the whole time, but the burning of the flag really hurt.’
‘There’s not been a president in living history that is as unpopular in the state of California as Trump,’ said Mike Madrid, a GOP political consultant who is an outspoken Trump critic. ‘But our money spends the same as everyone else’s.’
Trump kicked off his moneymaking with a $3million Bay Area luncheon, to be followed by a $5million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer.
He’ll bring in an additional $7million on Wednesday with a breakfast in Los Angeles and luncheon in San Diego before he visits a section of the border wall.
About 100 protesters lined the road about a mile from Trump’s luncheon site in Portola Valley, with demonstrators inflating giant Baby Trump and Trump Chicken balloons.
Republican National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon of California said about 400 guests attended the fundraiser at the home of Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, where the president spoke for about 45 minutes then took questions from the crowd.
Trump tweeted a cheery message as he departed New Mexico on Tuesday to fly to the state: ‘Just departed New Mexico for California, where we are delivering results!’ The tweet included statistics about the state’s unemployment rate and job creation.