‘I love you,’ and ‘Putin Won’ greet Trump at Open

Jill Colvin
Associated Press

Bedminster, N.J. — President Donald Trump sported his red “Make America Great Again” cap while flashing a thumbs-up at the U.S. Women’s Open on Saturday at his New Jersey golf club, near where dozens of protesters and supporters waved flags and carted around banners.

Trump was greeted by cheers and applause when he arrived, waving from inside an enclosed viewing tent.

Crowds gathered near where the president has a residence at the club, which sits on more than 600 acres (243 hectares) of rolling hills amid farmland.

Inside the club, Trump’s backers carried American and “Make America Great Again” flags, cheering, “Hey, Trump, I love you!” and “We love you, Donald!”

One protester’s sign outside the course read “America Lost Putin Won,” an apparent reference to the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling into the presidential election.

Trump’s backers and critics may disagree over his policies, but some were also civil toward one another.

Anne Burke, of Middlesex County, New Jersey, wearing a Trump T-shirt, and protester Domaine Leveille, of Bedminster, sporting a Hillary Clinton-themed “She Resisted” shirt, chatted for a while before shaking hands.

Trump, who was joined by his son, Eric, and daughter-in-law, Lara, periodically stood up, waving to supporters. At one point he offered a fist pump.

“It’s just a fun experience,” said Tom Palmer, 28, of Philadelphia, who said that Trump’s presence at the tournament was “a bonus.”

But others were less impressed.

Ed Riley, 75, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, who attended the event with his 13-year-old grandson, Joey, said it was “little bit of a distraction.”

He said the women playing the 16th hole near where the president was watching had to tee off to applause for Trump.

The president’s arrival Friday created such a commotion that crowds were asked to keep it down at one point. Chinese golfer Shanshan Feng said she could hear crowds screaming for the president from the 15th green.