Baby Trump balloon slashed at Alabama appearance


A giant "Baby Trump" protest balloon, which has been following President Donald Trump around the world for over a year, was knifed by one of his supporters in Alabama on Saturday during his trip to the state.

The incident occurred in the course of Trump's go to to view the University of Alabama soccer sport. The towering Baby Trump balloon was set up in a nearby park.

Jim Girvan, the organizer of a group that "adopts" out Baby Trump balloons for protests, said a man charged the balloon with a knife and cut an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) gash in the back.

Tuscaloosa Police identified the man arrested as Hoyt Hutchinson, 32.

Trump, the target of an impeachment investigation that has consumed Washington, was greeted with loud cheers from the crowd of more than 100,000 when he entered his luxury box at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The orange, nappy-clad, mobile phone-clutching caricature of the president is often taken to Trump appearances as a way to protest against him.

Volunteer Robert Kennedy says the balloon immediately began to sag after it was cut.

A protester carried a sign that said "Roll Tide Impeach 45" and another held a sign saying she had sold her ticket and donated the money to the Alabama Democratic Party. But there were more pro-Trump signs. There were flags emblazoned with "Trump 2020" and banners that read: "Keep America Great Trump 2020".

More news: Australia whitewashes Pakistan in Perth as hosts’ seamers rule
More news: Barcelona held to a draw by Slavia Prague
More news: RFE/RL: Pompeo warns of threats to liberty posed by Russia, China

Presidents have long used sporting events to woo support, but it's also a venue for fans to express their own political leanings. LSU beat Alabama, 46-41, Alabama's first loss of the season and first home loss in 31 games, stretching back to 2015.

He's headed to friendlier turf for Saturday's big game.

Ahead of Trump's visit to Alabama's campus, a message was sent by a school official, warning that anybody sitting in the student section would be instantly "removed" if they exhibited any "disruptive behavior, according to the Washington Post".

Sessions was ultimately forced out of his role in November 2018, a day after the midterm elections in which Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives and positioned themselves to block much of Trump's agenda and investigate his administration.

Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III said, "Just for him even wanting to come to this game, it just shows, like I said, the magnitude of the game".

Activists inflate a giant balloon depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby during a demonstration against Trump's visit to the United Kingdom in Parliament Square in London on July 13, 2018.

"I guess I'd rather go into a Republican primary with the president's support than without it", Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota commented.