Police deploy pepper balls, gas outside Trump rally
© Getty Images

Police deployed pepper balls in the streets of Phoenix on Tuesday night as protests raged on after President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE delivered a fiery, campaign-style speech in the city. 

Scores of demonstrators gathered ahead of the rally, which came more than a week after Trump drew broad criticism for his remarks in the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. 

As supporters of the president lined up outside the Phoenix Convention Center earlier Tuesday, anti-Trump protesters stood across the street, chanting and waving signs bearing slogans, like "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A."


The demonstrators also set up a giant inflatable effigy of Trump dressed in a white robe that bore a swastika. 

But after Trump took the stage to deliver a defiant speech defending his remarks in the wake of Charlottesville and slamming the media, police deployed the pepper balls.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the use of pepper balls. Initial reports said tear gas had been deployed, but further statements from the local Phoenix police department clarified that the loud bangs and gas filling the street came from pepper balls.

Trump has come under intense scrutiny over the past 10 days after making equivocal remarks about the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, in which he blamed "many sides" for the violence. 

In his rally speech Tuesday, Trump insisted that he sufficiently condemned hate groups and blamed the news media for not covering his remarks accurately.