It's one way to defuse a potential protest: Secret Service ordered a group of black students to leave a Donald Trump rally before it even began on Monday. The 30 or so students were standing together inside the basketball stadium at Georgia's Valdosta State University when they were informed they had to go, reports the Des Moines Register. "They said, 'This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.' But I paid my tuition to be here," says a student who was booted from the premises. The agents told the students that Trump wanted them removed, but a Trump spokeswoman later denied that the candidate made such a request. "There's no truth to that whatsover."
Regardless of who placed the order, the removal of the black students "caused a stir," writes Jennifer Jacobs of the Register. After the students were escorted from the building, Valdosta police officers ordered them away from the premises. At another Trump rally earlier in the day, at Radford University in Virginia, black students who were chanting "No more hate!" also were escorted out. As the Roanoke Times notes, a recorded message before the rally began informed the crowd that it was a private Trump event and that protesters would not be tolerated. (A Time photographer was roughed up at the same event.)