Even before he arrived, Trump stirred up fresh controversy with a tweet targeting Mayor Eric Garcetti on immigration policies.
"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!" Trump tweeted.
His tweet was a response to a video tweeted on Feb. 14 from Garcetti with LAPD Chief Michel Moore reaffirming the city's commitment to support immigrant families and not cooperate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement.
As Trump arrived and traveled first from helicopter to Santa Monica and then by motorcade to the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills, streets all over the Westside were blocked off during rush hour. Cars jammed side streets as the main roads were closed for the motorcade.
A large crowd of protesters and supporters gathered outside the hotel to wait for the president. Among those seen entering the hotel were actor Jon Voight and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
While in Los Angeles, Trump was expected to meet with the LA2028 Olympic Committee officials in Beverly Hills "for an update on their efforts to prepare for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games,'' according to the White House.
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Also before this Southland arrival, Trump went on a clemency spree, commuting what he called a "ridiculous" 14-year prison sentence for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardoning former New York Police Department commissioner Bernie Kerik, among a long list of others.
Trump is scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion with supporters and speak at a fundraising dinner later before heading to Las Vegas, where he will speak at a graduation event for a prisoner education program.
Road closures are in effect for the following areas until 8 p.m.:
- Beverly Drive between Wilshire Boulevard and Dayton Way
- Canon Drive between Wilshire Boulevard and Dayton Way
- Clifton Way between Crescent Drive and Canon Drive
- Crescent Drive between North and South Santa Monica Boulevards (closed until 10 p.m.)
The following roadways will be intermittently closed between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and again between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.:
- The area around Robertson Boulevard between Whitworth Drive and Wilshire Boulevard
- The area around Wilshire Boulevard between Robertson Boulevard and Beverly Drive
- The area around Crescent Drive between Wilshire Boulevard and N. Santa Monica Boulevard
On Wednesday, Trump will visit billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison's Rancho Mirage in Riverside County for a fundraising golf outing and reception hosted by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison before flying to Phoenix for a campaign rally.
According to an event invitation, first obtained by The Desert Sun, tickets for Trump's appearance in Rancho Mirage range from $100,000 for a photo opportunity and golf outing for two, up to $250,000 for a roundtable discussion, photo opportunity and golf outing for two.
The president will also visit Bakersfield, where he will join Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, at a forum to speak with farmers about efforts to improve supply and delivery of water in California.
The visits are part of several stops he will make in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado.
Trump most recently visited the L.A. area in September, attending a pair of fundraisers but making no public appearances. That trip also included a visit to San Diego, where he attended another fundraiser and traveled to Otay Mesa to view construction of the border wall.
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Trump also visited the Southland last April, attending a fundraising event in Beverly Hills and a private dinner at his Rancho Palos Verdes golf club.
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 visit will be Trump's fourth to the L.A. area as president.
He has spent little time in Southern California during his administration, compared to his Democratic predecessor and various Democratic presidential hopefuls. Trump has often sparred with L.A. and California leaders over immigrant-friendly "sanctuary'' policies, while also blaming Democratic policies for the area's homelessness and housing-affordability issues.
Former president Barack Obama had made nine visits to the L.A. area at this stage of his presidency, six solely for political fundraising. Obama spoke at political fundraisers during eight of his first nine visits to Southern California as president.
City News Service contributed to this report.