"Baby Trump" balloon flies at Florida rally

Natacha Larnaud

A bright orange "Baby Trump" balloon made an appearance Tuesday night outside a Trump rally in Florida. A similar version of the provocative balloon was slashed open with a knife earlier this month during the president's visit to a University of Alabama football game.

The president, who recently switched his residency from New York to Florida, held a "homecoming rally" at a hockey arena in suburban Broward County. His entourage included armored vehicles, a counter-assault team and Secret Service agents.

As it turns out, a security detail was also reportedly arranged for the 20-foot-tall Baby Trump.

Trump Fourth of July

A protester moves a Baby Trump balloon into position before Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. A version of the balloon traveled to Florida for a protest outside a Trump rally on November 26, 2019. Patrick Semansky / AP

The diaper-clad creation was there as part of a Democratic "unwelcoming" committee hosted by the state party, and according to the Miami Herald, it was carefully watched by police officers as well as a group of volunteers specially trained to de-escalate crowds who may be angered by the balloon.

The Associated Press reports about 200 anti-Trump protesters rallied on a street outside the BB&T Center before the president arrived, raising the helium-filled Baby Trump balloon as some chanted, "Lock him up."

The original balloon was created in 2018 by Matthew Bonner, a British artist, to fly during protests against President Trump's visit to the U.K. Since then, numerous copies have been made.

The Miami Herald reports Democratic activist Mark Offerman has brought the balloon to several events in Florida, such as a September 2018 rally for Puerto Rico outside the president's Palm Beach residence.

During Tuesday's rally, the president wasted no time in bringing up the impeachment inquiry.

"They're pushing that impeachment witch hunt, and a lot of bad things are happening to them," President Trump said. "Because you see what's happening with the polls? Everybody said, 'That's really bull****.'"

A cheer erupted and members of the crowd began chanting, "Bull****."

The House Intelligence Committee has wrapped up its public hearings and is preparing to send a report to the House Judiciary Committee in the coming days.

The Judiciary Committee is set to hold its first hearing with testimony from constitutional lawyers next week and the panel has invited President Trump to send an attorney to represent him at the hearing.

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