Protest, Counterprotest Erupt As Donald, Ivanka Trump Visit Austin Apple Plant

An anti-Trump protest, as well as a counterprotest, erupted in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon as President Donald Trump and his daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump arrived to tour Apple's Mac Pro manufacturing plant.

Prior to flying to Austin, the president commended Apple for opening a new "fantastic facility" in Austin subject to no tariffs, while his daughter tweeted that Apple was "one of the early signers" of the administration's 'Pledge to America's Workers' initiative.

But groups including Indivisible Austin, which states its mission is "to celebrate, protect, and expand democracy and human rights to drive justice, equity, and inclusion," organized a protest outside Apple's Flextronics plant in anticipation of the Trumps' mid-afternoon visit.

"Our main focus is impeachment. Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland testified just this morning that there was a quid pro quo," an Indivisible Austin press release stated. "Trump is trying to distract us with a shiny APPLE when he should be imPEACHed."

Protesters held signs and chanted, "Lock him up!" and held signs including "worst president ever," and "impeach."

It’s hard to get a shot of the whole crowd because they wrap around the curved road. #ImpeachTrump pic.twitter.com/0i85kVW3o8

— Indivisible Austin (@indivisibleATX) November 20, 2019

But Trump supporters also came out and countered with a rally of their own nearby.

A leader of an anti-impeachment group pushing #TrumpVictory led a chant including, "four more years," and "U.S.A." and participants held signs with "women for Trump" and the Trump campaign reelection slogan "Keep America Great."

Protestors have lined up upon @POTUS visit to Austin’s Mac Pro processing facility. #TrumpVictory (an anti-impeachment) group are chanting #4moreyears pic.twitter.com/Qe0gSwaYp2

— Kaitlyn Karmout (@Kaitlyn_karmout) November 20, 2019

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell joined the pro-Trump camp. He said through a megaphone, "I want to say to my fellow Republicans that are here, you're standing in the midst of the hottest economy in the world, led by our president, Donald J. Trump."

Austin police told the Austin American-Statesman that about 200 Trump supporters and about 150 protesters against Trump.

Austin police say approximately 200 Trump supports and about 150 anti-Trump protesters are gathered in front of Flextronics on Riata Trace Parkway ahead of the president’s tour of Apple, Inc. pic.twitter.com/3Szy5APcn7

— Heather Osbourne (@Ozzy_Statesman) November 20, 2019

The president's motorcade reportedly did not pass by the protests. After receiving word that the president was already inside the plant, many protesters expressed disappointment that he did not drive by them, according to the Statesman.

After touring the plant, Trump commended Apple and asked the technology company's CEO Tim Cook to comment on the American economy.

"I think we have the strongest economy in the world," Cook said. The president repeated Cook's words.

The president then addressed questions about U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's testimony in his impeachment hearings. The president called it "fantastic" and a reason to end his impeachment hearings and read his notes recounting a conversation with Sondland in which he told the ambassador, "I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo."

Donald Ivanka Trump Apple Protest
President Donald Trump (L) and Apple CEO Tim Cook (C), with White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump (L), tour the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility where Apple's Mac Pros are assembled in Austin, Texas, on November 20, 2019. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images