“Trump kicked off his first major rally of the year here the same way he campaigned during his successful 2016 bid: by unleashing a torrent of criticism on the media, pushing back against allegations of collusion with Russia, and promising once more to end illegal immigration and build a wall on the southern border.
“Across the street, one of his potential 2020 rivals—former Texas Congressman and El Paso native Beto O'Rourke — held a competing rally that drew thousands of people.
“Standing beneath an American flag flanked by red signs that read “finish the wall,” the president tossed plenty of fresh red meat to the capacity crowd, which periodically interrupted him with chants of “build the wall!” (Texas Tribune)
FLASHBACK. “A line from … Trump’s speech on border security on Monday was quickly turned into a graphic by the Republican Party. ‘We’re only getting stronger together,’ Trump said at an event in El Paso. Just one problem: ‘Stronger Together’ was actually Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign slogan as well as the title of the book she wrote with running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).” (HuffPost)
HOGAN. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) penned an op-ed for CNN. Hogan: “This week, our leaders in Washington will once again debate government funding and border security. Sadly, Americans can expect that this week's debate will again be laced with exaggerated rhetoric concocted to gratify partisans on both sides of the aisle. As we go into another week of Washington infighting and finger-pointing, I would like to offer a dose of reality for both sides.
“President Trump: Let's be honest, neither Mexico nor "Chuck and Nancy" are going to pay for the wall from sea to shining sea that you promised during your campaign.
Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi: Our nation cannot have open borders. Given your past support for border security funding that included physical barriers under previous administrations, your current "outrage" seems disingenuous at best. It is not true, as the Trump administration would have us believe, that our border is in an unprecedented state of chaos and crisis. Data from US Customs and Border Protection show that border crossings have been declining for more than a decade.” (CNN)
In an interview, Hogan played down his chances of challenging President Trump in the primary. Hogan: “I’m flattered that people are talking about that. I haven’t given much thought to that at all.” (CNN)