LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Drivers in the L.A. metro area faced rolling road closures and major traffic delays with President Donald Trump visiting the region Tuesday for a fundraising event and a meeting with local officials to discuss plans for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
The president arrived at L.A. International Airport around 4:15 p.m. to begin a four-day West Coast fundraising trip.
He was greeted on the LAX tarmac by Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. Senior aide Jared Kushner and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham were among those spotted disembarking Air Force One.
After shaking hands with a group of supporters, Mr. Trump climbed aboard a helicopter for a short trip to Santa Monica Airport, from which a motorcade carried him to the Montage Beverly Hills, where he met with LA 2028 committee officials.
“Now, for the third time in history, the city of Los Angeles, the City of Angels, will once again raise up the Olympic torch and welcome the world’s greatest competitors to the summer games,” Mr. Trump said. “How exciting.”
While Mr. Trump was in the air Tuesday, he responded to a video posted to Twitter by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti last week in which Garcetti and L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore reiterated that the city would “not coordinate” with federal authorities on illegal immigration enforcement.
Mr. Trump tweeted: “The Mayor’s efforts to shield illegal aliens endangers the lives of the public and law enforcement who have to go into the field to apprehend those released. He shouldn’t be urging illegals to beat the system, he should be urging them to safely turn themselves in!”
The Mayor’s efforts to shield illegal aliens endangers the lives of the public and law enforcement who have to go into the field to apprehend those released. He shouldn’t be urging illegals to beat the system, he should be urging them to safely turn themselves in! https://t.co/sSJodorcVr
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2020
The video was in response to a move by the White House to send 100 federal officers from the border to sanctuary cities across the country, including Los Angeles.
Mr. Trump doubled down on his tweet in comments to reporters from the LA 2028 meeting.
“Sanctuary cities, as you know, are very dangerous, you just look at some of the horrific crimes that wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have sanctuary for criminals,” he said.
Mr. Trump also discussed L.A.’s homeless crisis, reiterating comments he’s made in the past regarding the federal government’s involvement in trying to address the problem.
“If they can’t do it themselves, we’re gonna do it,” Mr. Trump said. “The federal government’s gonna take it over, we’re gonna do it. So we’re working right now with L.A. in particular…It’s unthinkable what they’ve allowed to happen to these cities.”
According to the White House, he then took part in a roundtable discussion with supporters and a fundraising dinner. No public appearances were scheduled.
Several major roads in Beverly Hills were shut down during evening rush hour, creating major traffic issues. Beverly Hills resident Anthony De La Cruz told CBS2 he left for work early knowing it would be tough to get around.
“I had to definitely plan ahead,” De La Cruz said.
Meanwhile, the group Refuse Fascism held an anti-Trump protest at 5:30 p.m. at Beverly Gardens Park, located at 9439 Santa Monica Blvd. When Mr. Trump last visited L.A. in September for several fundraisers, it prompted clashes between supporters and protesters.
Mr. Trump flew out of LAX, headed for Las Vegas, Tuesday evening. He is expected to return to California Wednesday for a visit to Bakersfield, where he’ll meet with the “farming community and address the need for water solutions,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who represents the region, said in a news release.
Later Wednesday, the president is expected to travel to Rancho Mirage in Riverside County for a fundraising golf outing and reception hosted by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison.