President Trump was greeted with big cheers and chants of "USA! USA!" from the crowd at the University of Alabama - Louisiana State University football game on Saturday. The cheers were a contrast to the last two sporting events Mr. Trump attended — aand a — where he was booed.
An organizer of the protests told The Associated Press a man was arrested after charging the balloon with a knife and cutting an 8-foot-long gash in the balloon. There were posts to social media prior to the slashing featuring a man saying he was "so mad right now. I'm fixin' to pop this balloon," AL.com reports.
The balloon slasher was charged with criminal mischief first degree, Tuscaloosa police told AL.com. A GoFundMe that was set up to pay bail already had already raised more than $6,000 by Saturday night.
At the game, Mr. Trump sat in a box with first lady Melania Trump and several prominent Alabama lawmakers, including Senator Richard Shelby and Congressman Bradley Byrne. Bryne is running against Mr. Trump's former Attorney General,, in the Republican primary for Alabama's 2020 Senate election. Both men are looking to unseat Alabama's Junior Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat. Sessions, who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years, was not in the box. Mr. Trump said on Friday that he has not decided if he will endorse a candidate in the race, saying Sessions has a lot of "tough competition."
Mr. Trump and Melania Trump waved to the crowd during the halftime show, which honored each branch of the military. The Alabama marching band played America the Beautiful and formed the letters USA. At the end of the tribute, a giant American flag was opened up over the field to big cheers.
Mr. Trump left during the third quarter, but later tweeted that it was a "great game!" LSU beat Alabama, 46-41, Alabama's first loss of the season and first home loss in 31 games, stretching back to 2015.