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Trump campaigns with DeSantis, Scott in Fort Myers

President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott attend a campaign rally in Fort Myers, Florida, Oct. 31, 2018.
President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott attend a campaign rally in Fort Myers, Florida, Oct. 31, 2018.

ESTERO, Fla. – President Donald Trump stumped for Florida's top Republican candidates -- Ron DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott -- Wednesday at a crowded campaign rally outside of Fort Myers.

Thousands of the president's supporters filled the Hertz Arena in Estero.

During the rally, Trump criticized news reports of his trip to Pittsburgh to mourn the lives of 11 people gunned down in a synagogue.

Trump claimed that any protests in Pennsylvania were small and far away from where he was.

A small group of protesters was in earshot of Trump as he visited a memorial outside of the Tree of Life synagogue, and hundreds more were kept blocks away by police.

The demonstrators chanted “Words matter” and “Trump, go home!” amid accusations from some that the president has at times been slow to condemn extremists. Some community leaders had asked Trump not to make the trip.

The president said Wednesday that the Trump movement is about love for fellow Americans but that the "fake" media is doing everything it can to "push people apart."

Both Scott and DeSantis both took to the stage.

"He's running on impeaching the president," DeSantis said of his opponent Democrat Andrew Gillum. "For what? This is a guy that took bribes from an undercover FBI agent. Took money from a lobbyist. Maybe we should impeach Gillum!"

The crowd chanted "Lock him up!" after DeSantis' comments. Gillum has not been charged with any crimes.

The president has increased his appearances at campaign rallies across the country in recent weeks as the midterm elections approach. The Florida governor's race is seen as one of the most closely watched races in the county.

Most polls show DeSantis -- a staunch supporter of Trump who has been endorsed by the president -- trailing slightly against Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee. Scott, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson, is also in a tight race.

This is Trump's first campaign rally in Florida since July, when he appeared with DeSantis ahead of the August Republican primary in Tampa. Many political observers said Trump's support of DeSantis was key to his victory over his more established rival, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.