Former president Donald Trump at an earlier rally (Photo by the Associated Press/Carolina News and Reporter)


Former President Donald Trump will be in Columbia next weekend, Mayor Daniel Rickenmann and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told the Carolina News and Reporter on the record on Thursday.

It’s unclear whether Trump will be attending the University of South Carolina’s game against in-state rival Clemson University that Saturday.

But Lott did say the sheriff’s department is stepping up security for the game.

Rickenmann said he had heard Trump will attend the game.

Several media outlets reported earlier this week that Trump would be in attendance. But USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner, speaking on the 107.5 sports radio station, did not confirm a visit.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s communications director, Brandon Charochak, told the Carolina News and Reporter he had no details and could not confirm the former president would visit.

McMaster, a USC graduate and Columbia resident, is a Republican who is an avid Trump supporter.

McMaster told reporters on Tuesday that Trump has a “standing invitation to come anytime he wants to.”

Traffic is expected to be normal for what is known as the Palmetto Bowl, officials with the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Columbia Metropolitan Airport said.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is running against Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Haley is a Clemson graduate.

South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary, on Feb. 24, is the first in the South.

Kickoff for the highly anticipated game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium.