U.S. stronger today, will be stronger tomorrow, Trump says in Pittsburgh speech | TribLIVE.com
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U.S. stronger today, will be stronger tomorrow, Trump says in Pittsburgh speech

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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight Conference inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight conference Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump arrives at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Air Force One lands at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Air Force One lands at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Renatta Signorini | Tribune-Review
Buttons for sale outside the David L. Convention Center on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Supporters in hard hats and Make America Great Again ball caps wait for President Donald Trump to speak Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Protesters during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
A protester is arrested for blocking the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Police arrest protesters blocking the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Two protesters wait to be arrested for blocking the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
A protester is arrested with other for blocking the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Protesters block the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Protesters come together near the Gateway Station prior to the start of the Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Protesters sing as they block the exit ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Lizzie Anderson of Polish Hill listens during Bend the Arc’s Solidarity Defeats White Nationalism rally in Downtown Pittsburgh ahead of a visit to the area by President Trump on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump arrives at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump arrives at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight Conference inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight Conference inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight conference Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
President Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight conference Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

President Donald Trump lauded the men and women working in Marcellus Shale and lauded his administration’s efforts to boost American energy production during his speech Wednesday at the Shale Insight conference inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Trump spoke for just more than an hour.

Protesters and supporters gathered in Downtown to before, during and after the president’s speech.

Check out tweets from Trib reporters covering Trump’s visit here.


5:35 p.m.

Air Force One has taken off, and Trump is headed back to Washington.


5:00 p.m.

President Trump finished speaking with a pledge to continue to fight for America’s energy workers.

“We are stronger today than ever before, and we will even be stronger tomorrow,” Trump said at the end of his speech. “I will never stop fighting for you.”


4:45 p.m.

A few tweets from inside and outside the convention center.


4:10 p.m.

Trump told a room full of oil and gas workers and supporters that his administration has “ended the war on American energy.”

“I promised that as president I would unleash American energy like never before,” Trump said at the beginning of his speech Wednesday. “Today, I’m proud to declare that I have delivered on every single promise I made to this conference three years ago and much more.”

Trump last spoke at the Shale Insight conference in 2016 when he was running for president. Then, he vowed to roll back regulations, speed up permits and welcome the construction of more pipelines. He said his energy plan would boost the country’s gross domestic product by $100 billion, create 500,000 jobs annually and generate trillions of dollars in new taxes over the next decades.


3:52 p.m.

Trump began speaking. He walked on stage to “God Bless the U.S.A.” and shook hands with people wearing hard hats behind the podium.

“You’re much happier. I was here three years ago and you’re much happier,” Trump said at the start of his speech.


3:30 p.m.

Trump has arrived at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

He will be the first sitting president to address the Shale Insight conference. He is due to take the stage any minute.

In Pittsburgh, Trump was greeted by supporters and protesters.

The president went into the convention center through the loading docks and avoided any contact with protesters or supporters waiting for him outside. During the drive, cars and people stopped along the Parkway took pictures of the motorcade.


2:48 p.m.

Air Force One has landed at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard base in Coraopolis.

Trump was joined on the flight by Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Daniel Meuser, Lloyd Smucker, Fred Keller, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson, Mike Kelly and John Joyce.

At the convention center, people filed in to hear the president’s speech. They held signs that read “USA” and “American jobs American Energy.”

And while support for the president’s energy and economic policies was high inside the convention center, Pennsylvania Democrats slammed Trump on those issues ahead of his visit.

“The Trump economy is not working,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, D-McKeesport. “My Mon Valley constituents are frustrated by closed factories. They’re frustrated by the lack of a good plan that will make prescription drugs more affordable.”


2:15 p.m.

The protesters that were at Point State Park marched toward the convention center.

At the park, Native Americans led the crowd in a water ceremony. Samples of water from rivers, streams and homes around the area were shared and blessed. The speakers urged everyone to protect water sources because water is critical to human life.

Cheryl Angel, a Siecangu Lakota elder who has helped to lead resistance to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, led the water ceremony.

“Water is sacred. We become the vessels when we drink the water,” Angel said. “If the waters are polluted, so are we. We are drinking a poison that leads to our demise.”

Mary Bayles, 67, of Pittsburgh, was among those who joined the water ceremony and protest.

She’s been following environmental issues related to the construction of gas and oil pipelines and worries about the impact pollution will have on future generations.

“There’s a whole lot of people coming up behind me that are going to have to drink that water,” she said.

Leandra Mira, 18, of Upper St. Clair, organized Pittsburgh’s Youth Climate Strike in September and joined the People Over Petro demonstration Wednesday.

Mira said the goals of the Climate Strike aligned with Wednesday’s protest against the Shale Insight conference and expansion of the energy industry in Pennsylvania

“Today is about defending water,” but is connected to banning extraction of natural resources like fracking to protect the region’s air and soil as well, she said.

Joseph Schrader, 43, of Mt. Washington, observed the water ceremony from afar with a Trump flag draped over his shoulders, wearing a Make America Great Again hat and holding two small American flags.

“We’re all neighbors, we have to know each other, at a minimum,” he said.

Schrader said the ceremony was “beautiful” even if he didn’t agree with what the protesters stood for. He said he wanted to try to talk with protesters.

“We can’t keep on fighting each other,” he said.

At the Pennsylvania National Air National Guard base, Trump’s presidential motorcade began to form up in anticipation of the Air Force One’s arrival. The motorcade will stop traffic along the Parkway West as it travels from the airport to Downtown.


2 p.m.

Air Force One is expected to touch down at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard base near the Pittsburgh International Airport around 2:30 p.m. People are waiting at the airstrip to welcome the plane.

Protesters and supporters continue to gather around the convention center in anticipation of Trump’s arrival. Dave Dornack of Baden held a neon green sign that said “Impeach + Convict” in bold black letters.

“This man cannot be in the presidency anymore. He’s urinated on the office of the presidency,” Dornack said.

Other protesters started chants of “Lock him up.”


1 p.m.

Trump supporters have started to arrive at the convention center.

Lynne and Rob Richardson of Robinson looked forward to seeing the president live for the first time.

“Because I love him, because I love low unemployment and protection of the unborn and a strong military,” Rob Richardson said.

Lynne Richardson said protesters didn’t deter her.

“They have a right to. I’m hopeful that we can keep our rights to be conservatives,” Lynne Richardson said.

William Cupka may be among Trump’s youngest supporters Wednesday.


12:30 p.m.

Mark Roberts and Dawn Davies are Trump supporters who got seats in the convention center hours before the president is scheduled to speak.

“If you’re a Trump supporter, getting to see him live is the ultimate form of support for him,” said Roberts, 57, of Murrysville. “I was not going to miss this.”

Davies, 50, of Marshall Township, said she lives near the Royal Dutch Shell cracker plant under construction in Beaver County. She wanted to hear the president speak Wednesday to become more educated about natural gas.

People have started to gather outside the convention center as well.


12:15 p.m.

Protesters have started to gather at Point State Park where they will hold a rally before marching toward the convention center ahead of Trump’s speech.

The rally will include a water ceremony led by Cheryl Angel of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Meanwhile, the crowd awaiting Trump is starting to filter into the convention center.


11:45 a.m.

The table is set inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for Trump’s speech.

Officials have set out lunch for attendees for the Shale Insight conference who will be listening to Trump this afternoon.

Preferred seating is only for conference attendees. The general public may watch the speech in a standing-room-only section. To go, register here and be at the convention center before 1:30 p.m.


11:00 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey praised Donald Trump’s policies on shale gas exploration during a phone call with a Trib reporter Wednesday morning. Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, said the administration’s market-based approach has allowed natural gas production in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale to flourish.

“The policy has been to let it happen — and as a result, there has been a tremendous development of oil and gas. The result is America is the world’s No. 1 producer of energy,” Toomey told the Tribune-Review.

Read more of Toomey’s interview here.


10:30 a.m.

Police made several arrests as they cleared protesters from the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Commonwealth Place near the exit ramp of the Fort Pitt Bridge.

Bend the Arc organizers said 12 people were arrested. They said they knew being arrested was a possibility.

Pittsburgh police placed protesters in zip-tie cuffs and lead them away. The protesters went peacefully.

The protesters had marched from the Gateway T Station to the intersection and sat down. Police told them to move and waited about 15 minutes before they started making arrests.


9:30 a.m.

Pittsburgh-area residents protesting Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh started gathering Downtown early Wednesday morning. Activists with the progressive Jewish organization Bend the Arc rallied outside the Gateway T Station in Pittsburgh’s Downtown during Wednesday’s morning commute.

Protesters held signs reading “We will resist and we vote,” “Solidarity will defeat white nationalism” and “Stronger than hate.”

Organizers said the rally was an extension of a press conference the group held Sunday to reiterate a challenge they issued to the president a year ago, days following the Oct. 27 attack on the Tree of Life synagogue that left 11 congregants dead.

The group issued a new letter Sunday urging the president to meet their challenge.

“We told President Trump a year ago that we didn’t want him here until he denounced white nationalism,” said Jonathan Mayo, 48, of Squirrel Hill, a member of Bend the Arc. “And as far as I know, that hasn’t happened yet.”

White House officials told reporters Tuesday that Trump is expected to follow up on promises he made during his 2016 campaign and explain how he is “ending the war on energy” during his remarks Wednesday. This includes Trump administration efforts to scale back regulations, keep taxes low and promote fair trade, officials said.

Trump also is expected to discuss how those actions have helped to create jobs in industries like mining, logging and construction in Pennsylvania by growing the U.S. energy market.


In case you missed it:

Get set for Trump’s visit: From road closures to a look back at the president’s last visits to Western Pa., four things you need to know before Air Force One touches down

Trump’s visit and the 2020 election: The president’s visit is as much about natural gas as it is about his reelection, experts told the the Trib

The state of shale: The annual Shale Insight conference convenes as prices continue to fall and pressure on local natural gas companies continues to mount

‘President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh:’ Protests of Trump’s visit started Sunday with activists and local political leaders renewing their call for the president to denounce white nationalism

Tribune-Review staff writer Jamie Martines, Megan Tomasic and Renatta Signorini contributed to this report.

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