President Trump held a campaign-style rally Monday night time in El Paso, Texas — simply as doable 2020 contender and former U.S. Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke led a border wall protest roughly a half-mile away.
Trump’s occasion, held on the El Paso County Coliseum for his first “Make America Nice Once more Rally” of the yr, did not determine the dueling rally close by, within the city that sits alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, however the president did point out O’Rourke.
The “younger man” with a “nice title,” “challenged us,” the president mentioned in reference to O’Rourke.
“We now have, as an instance, 35,000 folks tonight, and [O’Rourke] has 200 folks, 300 folks — not too good,” Trump advised the group. It was not instantly clear how many individuals had been at Trump and O’Rourke’s occasions.
Trump added, “The truth is, what I’d do is, I’d say that could be the tip of his presidential bid, however he did problem it.”
The president introduced his rally final week throughout his second State of the Union handle, wherein he alleged El Paso is now one of many nation’s most secure cities due to a “highly effective barrier” that was put in place — a declare that others disputed.
He reiterated that time on Monday night time. Chatting with the group, in entrance of a big crimson banner that learn, “end the wall,” Trump mentioned El Paso is among the “most secure cities” in America “thanks for a strong border wall.”
He claimed that El Paso, in comparison with Juarez, Mexico, simply throughout the southern border, had far much less murders than the close by Mexican metropolis, including: “Partitions work.”
Moments earlier than the president took the stage Monday, lawmakers reached “an settlement in precept” to fund the federal government and keep away from one other partial authorities shutdown. The deal contains round $1.three billion for a barrier alongside the southern border.
Trump talked about on stage that he did not know particulars, as information of the deal broke simply earlier than his rally, however acknowledged that “progress [was] being made” for border safety.
The White Home final month agreed to a brief spending invoice to finish a 35-day partial shutdown, though Trump mentioned on the time that the transfer was not a “concession” and that he wouldn’t relent on his calls for for a wall.
The talks had cratered over the weekend due to Democratic calls for to restrict immigrant detentions by federal authorities, however lawmakers apparently broke via that deadlock Monday night.
Trump — who touched on a number of matters all through his rally — was interrupted a number of occasions all through the occasion, seemingly by protesters. His supporters responded by shouting chants of “USA” and “end the wall” over the disturbances.
The president introduced up embattled Gov. Ralph Northam, D-Va., after talking on Democrats’ place on abortion. He mentioned he preferred Northam — who’s dealing with calls to resign after his medical faculty yearbook web page featured one individual in blackface and one other in a KKK gown — as a result of he steers damaging information protection away from his administration.
“I like him,” Trump mentioned. “Retains us out of the papers. I’d like to seek out a couple of extra guys like this one.”
Trump additionally talked about Northam’s first information convention relating to the ordeal — “He virtually moonwalked!” — wherein the governor recalled how he darkened his pores and skin when he dressed as Michael Jackson as soon as for Halloween.
Fox Information’ Mike Emanuel, Chad Pergram and The Related Press contributed to this report.