Donald Trump to hold first rally since Charlottesville as emotions run high

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Donald Trump is set to hold his first campaign-style rally since Charlottesville, sparking fears that emotions will run high following his controversial comments on the far-right protest.

The US President, who is visiting Arizona, is expected to try and shift the nation’s focus to combating illegal immigration after a turbulent few weeks at the White House.

However he has left local officials in the red state worried after causing outrage when he blamed “both sides” for violence at the rally organised by white supremacists earlier this month in Virginia.

The unrest culminated in a car ploughing into protesters and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Donald Trump blames both sides for Charlottesville violence

Mr Trump has already received pushback from Arizona’s Republican elected officials, including Senator John McCain.

And as activists plan to greet the President with multiple protests, the mayor of Phoenix, where the rally is set to be staged, has urged him to stay away.

Greg Stanton, a Democrat, wrote that “America is hurting” because Mr Trump “has doused racial tensions with gasoline.”

‘She died doing what was right’: Heather Heyer

He added: “With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match.

“That’s why I asked the president to delay his visit. It’s time to let cooler heads prevail and begin the healing process.”

Carrying undertones of his presidential campaign, the “Make America Great Again” rally gives Mr Trump the opportunity to reach out to voters who decisively handed him Arizona.

Trump’s first scheduled stop on his visit to the state is a base in Yuma, where he is expected to meet with marines and inspect a predator missile.

He planned to inspect equipment used on the southern border, which is a hub of operations for the U.S. Border Patrol.

It is believed the US President will highlight the region’s use of wall on the border with Mexico, with illegal border crossing having fallen by 83 per cent since it was extended to 63 miles over a decade ago.

Donald Trump’s ever-changing views on Afghanistan

It comes after the US President sensationally called on Nato allies such as Britain to send more troops and funds for the war in Afghanistan.

Speaking at Fort Meyer, Mr Trump said a sudden withdrawal from the country would have “predictable and unacceptable” results.

Before his election, Mr Trump made repeated calls for the US to withdraw, saying lives and money were being “wasted” in Afghanistan.

But after discussions with top Pentagon advisers and vice president Mike Pence, he said he had reversed his opinion after examining the war from “every conceivable angle”.

Currently there are around 8,400 US troops in the country and Pentagon officials had proposed sending in a further 4,000 to train Afghan forces to fight the Taliban and an affiliate of terror group Islamic State.


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