Trump official says armed men at Florida polling place not sent by campaign

The Trump campaign said they had nothing to do with the incident

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Wednesday, two people dressed as armed security guards were spotted outside an early voting location in Florida. But a spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s campaign has come forward to shoot down any speculation that the men were hired by the campaign.

According to a local NBC affiliate, Wednesday evening, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus clarified that the guards set up a tent outside an early voting site in downtown St. Petersburg claiming to be with the Trump campaign.

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“Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff’s deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated – and this has not been confirmed yet – that they were hired by the Trump campaign,” Marcus said in a video interview.

The station was also able to obtain photos from the City of St. Petersburg showing the scene outside the polling location on the day in question. But Thea McDonald, the deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, maintains that no one officially affiliated with the president hired the individuals at the site.

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“The campaign did not hire these individuals nor did the campaign direct them to go to the voting location,” McDonald said in a statement.

“The sheriff and I take this very seriously,” Marcus said. “Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter’s ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security and we had a plan in place and executed that plan.”

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