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Trump holds rally in Minnesota after touting progress on immigration, trade

FOX News logo FOX News 6/21/2018 Gregg Re
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President Trump kicked off a rally Wednesday night in Duluth, Minn., by running through what he called a string of White House victories from the economy to North Korea, and promising tight security at the Mexican border amid the ongoing immigration controversy.

The president told a raucous crowd that he expects to win the historically liberal state in 2020.

"I hate to bring this up -- but we came this close to winning the state of Minnesota," Trump said, referring to Hillary Clinton's narrow win there in 2016. "And in two and a half years, it's going to be really easy, I think."

At the Amsoil Arena in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, Trump voiced support for GOP candidate Pete Stauber, who he called "great" to a standing ovation.

Trump continued by declaring that his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was a success, saying he "got along" with the dictator and predicting that "Chairman Kim will turn that country into a great, successful country."

"We got back our hostages, and I didn't pay $1.8 billion dollars," Trump said, referring to the Obama administration's secretive payment to the Iran regime.

President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. June 20, 2018. © REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. June 20, 2018.

Even as he vowed that illegal immigrant families would no longer be separated at the border -- after signing an executive order to that effect earlier in the day -- Trump promised to keep the border "as tough as it's been."

Cheers of "build the wall" prompted Trump to reply, "The wall has been started. San Diego and lots of differnet places, but boy it's tough -- they want to do anything they can to obstruct and make sure it doesn't happen. But it's happening."

As two protesters who interrupted his speech were led out of the arena, Trump told them to go home to their "mom" and in one case asked, "Was that a man or a woman, because he needs a haircut more than I do. I couldn't tell."

To cheers of "Space Force," Trump then reminded the audience of his plan to have the Pentagon establish a branch of the armed forces focused on military activities in space.

Obama carried Minnesota's 8th District in both 2008 and 2012, but Trump won decisively there over Hillary Clinton by a margin of more than 15 points -- a swing made possible in part by the president's tough talk on trade.

Stauber is running to replace retiring Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan, with his opponent to be determined in an August primary.

Hundreds of people endured temperatures above 100 degrees and waited in the dark in a skywalk leading to the Amsoil Arena prior to the event, after a power outage cut the air conditioning and lighting, The Duluth News Tribune reported.

The rally followed a roundtable discussion at a Duluth paper company with local mining industry leaders and politicians, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

At the roundtable, Trump touted his administration's policies in a range of areas, including trade and immigration.

"If the other group got in, your economy would have gone down the tubes," Trump said at the roundtable.

"Nancy Pelosi ... wants to end the tax cuts," Trump said. "You do that, you'll totally kill the economy. You'll kill the country. ... If Hillary Clinton got elected, our economy would be a total disaster right now."

Local mining officials told Trump at the event that the administration's sweeping steel and aluminum tariffs had helped industry in the 8th District.

In response to a question about Melania Trump, who underwent a kidney procedure several weeks ago, Trump said the first lady is doing "fantastically well."

At the end of the meeting, Trump told the assembled officials and industry leaders -- who heaped praise on him throughout the roundtable -- that the slogan for his next presidential bid would be "Keep America Great Again."


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