Hundreds greet president at Griffiss

Published Aug 14, 2018 at 4:01pm

A crowd of about 300 people stood on the tarmac and greeted President Donald J. Trump as he arrived in Rome Monday before heading to Utica for a fundraiser for Rep. Claudia L. Tenney.

The president arrived aboard a Boeing 757—called Air Force One whenever the President is on board—touching down at Griffiss International Airport just before 4 p.m., about five minutes earlier than his schedule stated.

Under rain clouds that threatened but ultimately did not open up, the crowd chanted “Trump,” “USA” and “Build that wall.”

Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, who is a tight race with Democratic challenger Anthony J. Brindisi of Utica, was on hand to greet Trump at the bottom of the staircase of the plane.

The congresswoman introduced several people to the president, then they walked over to the crowd of supporters. That crowd included all five of the Republican members of the Common Council.

As Trump approached the crowd, he waved then pumped his fist, then clapped when the crowd chanted “USA.” He went to the crowd, shook hands and signed hats before departing in the motorcade to Utica and the campaign appearance at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Utica.

Brian and Lynnette Wyman were on the tarmac with Tenney to greet the president. The parents of Oneida County Deputy Kurt B. Wyman who was shot and killed in the line of duty at the end of a night-long stand-off in the early morning hours of June 7, 2011, in the Town of Augusta, were invited by Tenney. Their son had also served in the Marine Corps.

“It’s an honor you don’t turn down,” Brian Wyman said, “especially one I like and I voted for and is doing good things.”

He said they greeted the president and talked about Kurt. Wyman also gave him a challenge coin.

“He’s very charismatic,” said Brian Wyman. “He was truly interested in who we were.”

The president’s schedule outlined his appearance in Utica, a departure just after 6 p.m. returning to Rome to depart for Washington, D.C., around 6:30.