A supporter brought onstage at Donald Trump‘s first post-inauguration rally embraced the President, addressed the crowd, and later confessed he salutes a six-foot cardboard cut-out of the the reality tv star every day.
Mr Trump picked Gene Huber out of the crowd in Melbourne, Florida, and invited him to clamber onstage and address the 9,000-strong audience.
He said: “I saw this guy on television. He said ‘I love Trump’… that’s my guy, right there.”
— Gene Huber (@Squeakey6) January 9, 2017
Addressing security concerns as the Secret Service swarmed around Mr Huber, the President reassured cheering supporters: “I’m only worried he’s going to give me a kiss. I’m not worried about anything else.”
After hugging Mr Trump, Mr Huber took the microphone and spoke to those gathered in the airplane hanger where the rally took place.
He said: “Mr. President, thank you sir. We the people, our movement, is the reason why our President of the United States is standing here in front of us today.
“When President Trump during the election promised all these things that he was going to do for us, I knew he was going to do this for us.”
As he left the stage in a flurry of handshakes and fist-pumps, Mr Trump said: “A star is born.”
In an interview with CNN, a star-struck Mr Huber explained he was first in line for the rally, arriving at 4am. That meant he gave a number of TV interviews, some of which were evidently spotted by the president, who reportedly watches hours of cable footage about himself every day.
He added that he had been campaigning on behalf of the Republican President for two years, and said he kept a six-foot cardboard cut-out of the billionaire mogul in his house.
He said: “I salute that every single day and I pray and I tell him, ‘Mr. President, I pray for your safety today.’ And I’m not lying, I do that every single day to the president, but he’s cardboard.”