Trump skips town, but still fo­cus of com­pet­ing ral­lies in D.C.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - National - By Ashraf Khalil

As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump skipped town for the week­end, but that didn’t stop demon­stra­tors from mak­ing him the fo­cus of com­pet­ing ral­lies in the nation’s cap­i­tal that high­lighted the stark po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sions in the United States.

Kick­ing off a Satur­day of di­verse demon­stra­tions, about two dozen pro­test­ers gath­ered in Lafayette Square, a park just across Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue from the White House, to de­mand that Mr. Trump take strong ac­tion against Rus­sian leader Vladimir Putin in re­tal­i­a­tion for Moscow’s in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 U.S. elec­tion.

They car­ried signs that said “We’re not PUTIN up with it!” and “Pro­tect Amer­i­can Democ­racy.” After their rally, marchers headed to the home of the Rus­sian am­bas­sador a few blocks away.

Nearby, on the Na­tional Mall close to the Wash­ing­ton Monument, a larger proTrump event got un­der­way. Or­ga­niz­ers, on the event’s web­site, ap­pealed for peo­ple to “help send a mes­sage to Congress, the me­dia & the world”that “we stand united to de­fend Amer­i­can cul­ture & val­ues.”

The pitch to would-be par­tic­i­pants: “If you stand for pa­tri­o­tism and free­dom, this rally is for you!”

Mr. Trump was spend­ing the week­end at his golf club in New Jersey be­fore at­tend­ing the U.N. Gen­eral Assem­bly this week.

Later, in front of the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial, thou­sands of jug­ga­los, as sup­port­ers of the rap group In­sane Clown Posse are known, read­ied for a con­cert and rally. They in­tended to push their de­mand that the FBI re­scind its clas­si­fi­ca­tion

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