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President Trump visits Grand Rapids for campaign rally

Trump welcome sign
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Radio
President Trump's campaign rally is set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday.

President Donald Trump revved up his supporters in Grand Rapids last night on issues ranging from the Mueller investigation, to health care, to immigration.

It was a homecoming for President Trump, whose appearance comes on the heels of the report from special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump is celebrating that the investigation failed to find evidence of collusion between his presidential campaign and the Russian government

“You were with me,” Trump told the Grand Rapids crowd, referring to the 2016 election. “I won’t forget it and you will be very proud, looking back, that you did it. Thank you.”

Trump spoke to the crowd for more than an hour. He promised to bring auto jobs back to the state and reduce the costs of prescription drugs.

He also pledged to put $300 million into the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“I support the Great Lakes,” he said. “Always have. They’re beautiful, they’re big. Very deep. Record deepness, right?”

The claim is directly at odds with the Trump administration’s proposed budget. That budget proposal includes a steep cut to the initiative – the third time Trump has recommended the cut. The move was criticized by Democrats and Republicans.

Supporters of President Donald Trump were lined up for blocks in downtown Grand Rapids Thursday afternoon ahead of the president's campaign rally in the city.

One of those supporters is Mark Aben. He works in construction and says Trump is the greatest president ever. Aben says he hopes Trump uses the rally to bring people together.

“Let’s just talk about bringing the country back together. Let’s not be so divided. Doesn’t matter what you are. Let’s just be great, let’s be America. Let’s not be Republican, let’s not be Democrat, let’s not be Independent, let’s just be Americans.”

Michigan was a key state in securing Trump’s victory in 2016. This will be his first re-election rally since special counsel Robert Mueller finished his investigation into the presidential campaign’s potential ties to Russia.

Saundra Kiczenski says she's been to more than 20 Trump rallies in several states.

Kiczenski says that the Mueller investigation was a “witch hunt.”

“I get so tired of this…. I don’t even – I haven’t even been following it anymore I just turn the television off. It’s the same thing day after day on every channel it’s just like, whatever.”

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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