Trump attended the Palmetto Bowl college football game in South Carolina

Chris Carlson/AP

Former President Donald Trump arrives at the South Carolina-Clemson football game on November 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina.



CNN

Ex President Donald Trump Attended by A The most anticipated rivalry football game during his campaign is Saturday in South Carolina Key initial-nominating stage Ahead of next year’s Republican presidential primary.

The Palmetto Bowl is an annual rivalry between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, two of the state’s largest universities, and this year takes place in the state capital of Columbia. Gov. Henry McMaster, an alumnus of the University of South Carolina who supported Trump, recently said the former president had a “standing invitation” to attend the game.

Trump watched the game from a box and walked onto the field at halftime with McMaster. The former president briefly stood on the 50-yard line and waved to the crowd to cheers and a few cheers. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who supported Trump, also joined the former president.

Trump, who is leading the GOP nomination, is leading his primary rivals in South Carolina. According to a recent CNN pollIt found the former governor of the state, Nikki Haley, his strongest challenger but still a distant second. Haley’s campaign did not respond when asked if the Clemson alumnus would attend Saturday’s game.

South Carolina is one of the earliest contests on next year’s Republican nominating calendar, holding its GOP primary on Feb. 24 after Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. The state was crucial to Trump’s endorsement of the 2016 GOP presidential primary Winning the South Carolina primary that year helped shape his path to ordination. The former president has visited the state several times this year, most recently at a campaign event in Summerville in September.

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In addition to McMaster, Trump has the support of several top South Carolina Republicans, including Graham, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evett and U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson, William Timmons and Russell Fry.

Earlier Saturday, Trump criticized A hostage deal was struck between Israel and HamasTruth Social insists that no Americans have yet been freed as part of the deal because it “has no respect for our country or our leadership.”

Trump’s post came after a US official said US citizens would not be part of the second wave of hostages released on Saturday.

However, the White House said it was “confident” that three US citizens would be part of a negotiated hostage release in the coming days.

President Joe Biden He told reporters on Friday afternoon The US does not know when the US citizens being held hostage will be released, but said it is its “hope and expectation”.

In a separate post, Trump said, “Hamas now wants a better deal for the hostages. This will not end well! ”

The post appeared to indicate a delay in the release of hostages and prisoners expected on Saturday. That dispute was resolved through mediation, a Qatari foreign ministry spokesman told CNN earlier.

In October, Hamas frees two American hostages “On humanitarian grounds”

Saturday’s Palmetto Bowl isn’t Trump’s first stop at a football game this campaign cycle. Former President A Tournament between Iowa State University and University of Iowa in September and stopped by a tailgate before the game. State of Florida Ron DeSantisThe contender for the GOP nomination also attended the game in Ames, Iowa.

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This story has been updated with additional information.

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