by Bryna Zumer
BALTIMORE (WBFF) – Protesters and supporters converged on downtown Baltimore Thursday afternoon ahead of President Donald Trump’s expected visit to the city.
Trump spoke at about 8 p.m. at an annual retreat of congressional Republicans, held at the Marriott Waterfront hotel in Harbor East.
He mentioned Baltimore’s “failed and corrupt” leadership, toward the end of his speech.
“We’re going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule,” the president said.
That sentence was the only reference to the city, about a month after Trump’s criticism of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and reference to Baltimore as a rodent-infested mess.
He also tweeted out a photo of Pratt Street at the Harbor, saying “Hello Baltimore!” as he arrived in the city.
Most of Trump’s speech cited what he considers many of his achievements, such as measures to help veterans, improve medical care and the environment and confronting gangs. He also took jabs at many of his political opponents.
Republicans at the event generously cheered Trump’s comments, and chanted “Four more years” as he came out.
He did not take questions from reporters.
The event caused some gridlock downtown, as city officials warned drivers to avoid much of the downtown area throughout Thursday.
At least one confrontation between a supporter and protester was seen in the Harbor East area.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX45 for updates.