President Donald Trump arrived in Greenville on Monday, met by cheers and protests across the county.
The trip is for Trump to show his support for Governor Henry McMaster's campaign bid for 2018.
"It's always great to have him in the Palmetto State," Senator Tim Scott said in anticipation of the president's trip.
Trump arrived at Joint Base Andrews on Marine One just after 4 p.m. before transferring to Air Force One for the flight to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. The flight time was approximately one hour and when it landed, Trump shook hands with supporters on the tarmac.
Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Joe Wilson traveled with the president aboard Air Force One.
Interstate 85 southbound was shut down between GSP Airport and Laurens Road while the presidential motorcade traveled to the Embassy Suites by Hilton on Verdae Boulevard.
McMaster's office confirmed he and Trump would speak at the campaign event, although the event was closed to press. The general reception began at 6:30 p.m. and attendance costed $250 per person. The general manager said there were 1,000 tickets pre-sold to the rally.
A crowd began forming at the Embassy Suites around 4 p.m.
"I know that South Carolina’s best days are ahead of us. That’s why I fight each day to bring good paying jobs to South Carolina, keep taxes low, improve our roads and bridges, and defend our core conservative values that make our families stronger," McMaster said. "That’s why I’m a believer in 'Make America Great Again' and was the first Republican statewide official to sign on to President Trump’s team in 2016, and know his agenda will bring the tax relief so many Americans deserve."
A few participants inside the venue spoke with FOX Carolina and said the president's speech was "brilliant". They said Trump spoke on a number of topics including taxes, the NFL and the stock market mostly off the cuff, with only a few notes. They said at the end of his speech he gave McMaster his full endorsement.
One person did faint in the middle of the speech, participants say, but they did receive medical help and are doing fine.
Here is Trump's full speech from Youtube user Tom Kassab [mobile users click here]:
Following his visit, Trump tweeted and said it is "always great to see the wonderful people of South Carolina."
More than a dozen political and activist groups from the Upstate and around South Carolina announced plans to protest in Falls Park in downtown Greenville and at the airport.
Protesters with signs also rallied outside Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport during Trump's arrival.
A news release stated the following groups would be picketing: Greenville County Democratic Party From the Ground Up- Greenville Greenville Black Lives Matter Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Our Revolution- Greenville SC Equality Young Democrats of Greenville County Democratic Women of Greenville County South Carolina Democratic Party Indivisible SC4 Oconee County Democratic Party Pickens County Democratic Party Anderson County Democratic Party
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