President Biden arrives in Utah

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Megan Brugger (video) and Emma Everett (print)

President Joe Biden came to Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon for the final leg of a three-state tour, just hours after FBI agents shot and killed a Provo man accused of making threats on the president’s life.

Special agents approached suspect Craig Robertson’s home early Wednesday morning with a warrant, according to AP News. The warrant was reportedly issued due to a connection to threatening social media posts Robertson made in anticipation of Biden’s visit.

According to AP News, Robertson was armed at the time of the shooting, which occurred around 6:15 a.m.

Robertson was under some degree of surveillance since March due to suspicious social media activity, according to AP News. 

In a Monday post, AP News reported that he said he planned to find his old camouflage suit and start “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle.”

The president was in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the time of the shooting.

Biden departed Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base for Salt Lake City in Air Force One, arriving at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base around 4:25 p.m.

President Biden arrives in Utah. His visit comes at the end of a three-state tour, where he also visited New Mexico and Arizona. (Emma Everett)

Utah Gov. Cox and first lady Abby Cox, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Turley, Col. Brandon Taylor and media representatives were at the ready on the runway to greet the president.

When all security personnel and media were in place, Biden stepped from the aircraft cabin and waved. He met briefly with Gov. Cox and his wife on the tarmac before departing with them in a motorcade headed for Salt Lake City.

This trip is Biden’s first visit to the state as president.

While here, he plans to discuss the PACT Act, which expands healthcare benefits and access for veterans exposed to toxins in the line of duty. The Aug. 10 press conference marks the first anniversary of the act being signed.

Biden will also participate in a fundraising event for his re-election campaign in Park City. 

Though he bested incumbent Donald Trump in 2020, Biden is looking at a potential repeat of the contest next year.

This tour is a highlight reel of the Biden administration’s policy wins. The president discussed climate change action in Arizona and clean energy investments in New Mexico. In Utah, he will talk about veteran benefits.

Though it is a historically red state, Col. Taylor said he hopes and anticipates that Utahns will welcome the Democratic president with open arms.

“I think it’s been a very warm reception,” he said. “Politics aside, he’s the president of the greatest nation in the world, right?”

Taylor said the Air Force One landing was kept private to ensure the president’s safety. In the event of injury, an ambulance is included in the presidential motorcade. This is standard procedure.

“He is elected by the people and whether you like that system, whether you like the president, it’s the system that put him there and it’s the greatest system in the world,” Taylor said.

Biden deplaned from Air Force One and arrived in Salt Lake City without incident.

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