Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump jeer at protesters during a campaign rally in Burlington, Vt. on Jan. 7, 2016.
Erin Siegal—Reuters
January 8, 2016 7:42 AM EST

Donald Trump held a rally in Burlington, Vermont last night and asked people to pledge their support for his campaign before being let inside the event.

“We have more than 20,000 people that showed up for 1,400 spots. I’m taking care of my people, not people who don’t want to vote for me or are undecided,” Trump said in a statement, NBC reports. “They are loyal to me and I am loyal to them.”

NBC said some people who made it through security said they had been asked if they supported Trump. Those who said yes were allowed in; those who said no were turned away.

Some protesters still made it inside to interrupt the rally, with Trump joking that his staff should “confiscate the coats” before kicking them out into the Vermont winter.

Trump knew Burlington would be ripe with protest potential, as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders was a beloved mayor of the town and senator from the state.

“I welcome Mr. Trump to Vermont,” Sanders said in a statement before the rally. “I hope his presence here will help him better understand Vermont values – social and economic justice, tolerance, respect for all people and the environment.”

Still, Sanders took a more combative tone on Twitter, with a series of tweets during the rally aimed against the Republican frontrunner:

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Write to Tessa Berenson at

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