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Political Clashes Spill Over Along With Crowds At Missoula Trump Rally

Protesters mix with the Trump rally overflow crowd in an exchange that touched on race and the veracity of sexual assault allegations
Nicky Ouellet
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Protesters mix with the Trump rally overflow crowd in an exchange that touched on race and the veracity of sexual assault allegations

As President Donald Trump stoked the crowd inside a hangar at Missoula’s airport last night, a small group of protesters mixed with some of the people who didn’t make it inside.

A couple dozen of the several hundred people outside milled around a police barricade about a mile away.

As the crowd thinned, a handful of protesters carrying signs climbed up the hill near the barricade. Protesters and Trump supporters started a spirited conversation.

They were soon joined by a man wearing a Swastika pin, who for a short time chanted, “make America white again."

"See, the difference between me and you is I’m not afraid to be white," he said. 

Ashley Rezvani’s dad, who stood nearby, is Iranian. Her mom is white.

"My dad was followed around by a guy with a knife the night after Trump's election, which was really scary," she told me. 

She stood in line to attend the Trump rally in opposition, but didn’t make it inside.

"It was very weird being in line with all these people, because I was like, most of these people - my dad's a first generation immigrant," Rezvani said. "He came here because he was kicked out of his own country. And it's really weird to me that most of these people would rather my dad stayed in his country and died than come here. They're just that angry ... And just like, overhearing conversations around me was odd, It was weird to hear things that I knew people felt, but to actually hear that first hand was really scary actually."

I asked Rezvani if she thinks what he's saying is that the view of all the people here?

"No!" she replied. "No. Absolutely not. I think oftentimes extremes are loudest, and it overshadows everybody else who might be more reasonable but who isn't speaking up. But no, I don't think he represents everybody here. I think it might be alarming how many he does actually."

Rezvani and the white supremacist both left shortly after she and I spoke. The other protesters and Trump supporters maintained a heated but peaceful discussion that broke up before Trump boarded Air Force One.

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