Democratic leaders and other Trump opponents plan protests and marches outside the rally
President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Virginia, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster, photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster
22 of August 2017 14:09:34
WASHINGTON – Trying to recapture the Republican fervor that helped put him in office, President Donald Trump travels to Arizona on Tuesday to visit the nation's southern border and to rally thousands of supporters in a state where he's trashed both Republican senators.The two-day trip, which also includes a stop in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday to speak to veterans at an American Legion conference, marks his farthest journey west since taking office in January.It comes at a politically turbulent time for the president. On Monday night, he addressed the nation about his decision to maintain a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, an action at odds with his repeated promises on the campaign trail to end the country's longest war. And last week he touched off a firestorm by saying that "both sides" were to blame for violence that erupted at a rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Gov. Doug Ducey, a Trump supporter, will greet Trump as he arrives in Phoenix but will not attend the rally to focus on safety needs, his spokesman said. Neither Sens Jeff Flake nor Sen. John McCain, who is undergoing cancer treatment, will join Trump at his events in the state. Flake has been on tour promoting a book that says the Republican Party's embrace of Trump has left conservatism withering.Flake has been a frequent target of Trump's wrath. Last week, Trump tweeted that Flake is "toxic" and said it is "great to see" Kelli Ward running against him in the GOP primary for the seat, which is up for re-election next year. That has sparked talk of Trump possibly endorsing Ward from the stage Tuesday night.Another potential subplot of the rally: Trump has teased in a Fox News interview and on Twitter the possibility that he'll pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who recently was convicted in federal court of disobeying a court order to stop his immigration patrols.
The potential for things to go bad in Arizona tonight is disturbingly high https://t.co/xZrq73r3Ef— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) August 22, 2017