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Dec 10, 2015 11:27 PM

Steinhauser: Trump grabs endorsement, draws protests, in Portsmouth

NH1 Political Director -

PORTSMOUTH – Call it the understatement of the week.

“We’ve had a pretty interesting couple of days. We have people talking. I will tell you that,” Donald Trump said to laughter Thursday night at an event in Portsmouth.

The Republican presidential front runner was in the first-in-the-nation primary state three days after sparking a new controversy with his proposal to temporarily ban the entry of all Muslims into the country. Trump made his Monday announcement in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which authorities say was carried out by a Muslim couple that had been radicalized and was sympathetic to ISIS.

Trump’s proposed ban of allowing Muslims into the U.S. sparked outrage and pushback from Democrats as well as fellow Republicans. But Trump said Thursday that “we have them talking positively, because people are saying ‘you know Trump is right’.”

Trump’s appearance in the Granite State drew a couple of hundred protesters, who demonstrated across the street from the Sheraton Hotel, where Trump spoke.

The GOP presidential candidate made the quick trip to New Hampshire to land the endorsement of the New England Police Benevolent Association.

The group’s executive director, Jerry Flynn, announced that “we stand here united today to our candidate for the next president of the United States, Donald J Trump.”

The group represents approximately 5,000 law enforcement and corrections officers in New England.

Trump praised law enforcement, saying to applause that “the police and law enforcement in this country, I will never ever let them down, just remember that.”

“When you look at what happened in California with those two people that where horrible, radicalized, looking to do tremendous damage, and you look at the way that the police took them out. That was tough stuff, tough stuff,” he added.

And Trump vowed that “one of the first things I’d do in terms of executive order if I win will be to sign a strong, strong, statement that will go out the country, out to the world, that anybody killing a police man, police woman, police officer, death penalty, it’s gonna happen.”

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