President Donald Trump stands before speaking at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Latest: Trump lashes out at press during Arizona rally

August 22, 2017 - 10:44 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Arizona (all times PDT):

10:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is lashing out at the press for its portrayal of his response to the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, as he kicks off a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump says the "very dishonest media" mischaracterized his response to the protest organized by white supremacists.

And he's re-reading the statements he delivered on various days, insisting, "I did this three times."

Trump was criticized by Republican and Democrats alike for failing to call out neo-Nazis and other hate groups by name in his first response to the protest and then insisting there was blame on "both sides."

Trump is also repeating the message of unity he delivered Monday evening.

He says, "this entire arena stands united in forceful condemnation of the thugs that perpetrated hatred and violence."


7 p.m.

Speakers at President Donald Trump's first campaign rally since the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protest are pushing a message of unity.

Among the speakers at the rally are Housing secretary Ben Carson and Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Carson discussed his experiences growing up with racism and said that, every time the U.S. has encountered bigotry and division, the country has left those ideologies in "the rear view window."

He says, "our differences are nothing compared to our shared humanity and the values that unite us."

Vice President Mike Pence also spoke about the importance of unity.

A black man seated right behind the president's podium is wearing a shirt that reads, "Trump & Republicans are not racist."


5:45 p.m.

A half-dozen people showed up outside President Donald Trump's speech with military-style rifles and fatigues to join the protests against him.

Members of the Redneck Revolt describe themselves as an anti-fascist group who are offended by the president's policies and comments in the aftermath of the racial violence of Virginia. A man who identified himself as "John Brown" carried an AK-47 and said he was there to protect the anti-Trump protesters. Arizona allows people to carry weapons openly.

Police kept the two groups on opposite sides of the street behind barricades and officers, but that did not stop them from engaging in shouting matches. The protests were largely peaceful, despite the large number of people gathered.


4:45 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was among the state officials who greeted President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the airport tarmac after they arrived in Phoenix.

Ducey shook Trump's hand, tweeted "Welcome to Arizona, Mr. President!" and rode with Trump and Pence in the motorcade. But the Republican governor will not appear on stage with Trump at the rally, saying he needs to help monitor the security response to protest.

Arizona has a history of dramatic tarmac encounters surrounding presidential politics.

Former Gov. Jan Brewer famously wagged her finger at then-President Barack Obama in 2012 amid heightened tensions between his administration and Arizona over immigration and other issues. And former President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a discussion on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport last year that factored into the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton.


4:45 p.m.

The American Legion is reaffirming its position against hate groups as President Donald Trump prepares to address its national convention in Reno on Wednesday.

National Commander Charles E. Schmidt says the Legion on Monday approved the resolution that was first passed 94 years ago. It comes less than two weeks after deadly violence at white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The resolution condemns as un-American any individual, group or organization that creates or fosters racial, religious or class strife. It says such hate groups are a menace to liberty and fundamental law.

Trump has come under heavy criticism for not immediately denouncing the white power groups that rallied in Charlottesville and for saying "both sides" were to blame for the ensuing violence.


3:55 p.m.

Protesters have engaged in minor scuffles and shouting matches with President Donald Trump's supporters as hundreds of people line up to get inside his rally in Phoenix.

At one point, police officers formed a line in the middle of a street to separate the protesters and Trump supporters. In one exchange, a Trump supporter and protester shoved each other. In another, the two groups shouted at each other before moving on.

The line of Trump fans wearing red "Make America Great Again" hats grew longer as the afternoon went on and the temperature soared above 100 degrees.

City of Phoenix spokeswoman Julie Watters says the fire marshal has set capacity for the venue at 19,000.


2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is greeting service members at a Marine Corps base in the 106-degree heat of Yuma, Arizona.

Trump is also signing caps with his "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan and posing for selfies on the tarmac just steps away from Air Force One.

Trump is visiting with service members after touring the base. It's a hub of operations for the U.S. Border Patrol.

The president made no formal remarks while in Yuma.

His next stop is Phoenix for the latest in a series of campaign rallies. The visit is Trump's first out West since he took office in January.


2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is reviewing equipment used by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol during a stop in Yuma, Arizona.

Agents are telling Trump about a Predator drone, helicopter and boat, which are on display in a hangar at the base. Trump patted the side of the drone.

Trump also is greeting dozens of border patrol and immigration and customs enforcement agents. He shook hands as they showed him everyday items, such as a fire extinguisher, that have been refashioned to smuggle drugs across the border.

Trump is expected to greet Marines before heading to a campaign rally in Phoenix.


2:15 p.m.

A spokeswoman for President Donald Trump says he will not pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh) while visiting Arizona.

Trump sparked speculation about a possible pardon when he told Fox News in a recent interview that he was considering issuing one. But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with Trump on Tuesday that "there will be no discussion of that today at any point, and no action will be taken on that front at any point today."

Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff, was recently convicted in federal court of disobeying court orders to stop his immigration patrols.

Immigrant rights advocates had criticized a potential pardon by Trump.


3 a.m.

President Donald Trump is trying to recapture the fervor that helped put him in office with a campaign-style rally in Arizona, but he's also likely to hear some protests over his immigration policies and his comments about Charlottesville.

It will be his farthest trip west since taking office in January. He'll visit the Mexican border at Yuma before the political rally in Phoenix.

Trump's visit comes at a sensitive time. Some Republicans are reeling after his remarks last week that "both sides" were to blame for violence that erupted at a rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The president also has teased that he may pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh), who recently was convicted of disobeying a court order to stop his immigration patrols.

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