President Donald Trump talks to a pilot in the cockpit of an F-35 aircraft during a Defense Capability Tour at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump: migrants headed to US hardened criminals

At campaign rally in Arizona says caravan isn't full of 'little angels'

October 19, 2018 - 10:22 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's three-day campaign trip out West (all times local):

7:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Central Americans trying to traverse Mexico and reach the U.S. border aren't "little angels" but "some hardened criminals."

On Friday while Trump was campaigning in Arizona, migrants burst through a Guatemalan border fence and started to stream into Mexican territory, rushing a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 pushed through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

Asked what evidence he had that they were "hardened criminals," Trump told a reporter at a defense roundtable in Scottsdale: "Oh please. Please. Don't be a baby."

He told the reporter to look at Mexican soldiers lying on the ground as he discussed the migrants rushing across the border.

Trump then said he didn't want these "tough people" in the United States.

The president said: "I don't want them in our country. and neither does our country want them in our country."

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5:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Arizona Senate hopeful Martha McSally, who is a former Air Force colonel and combat fighter pilot, is "brilliant and brave" and has a "very, very strange opponent."

McSally, a Republican, is running against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (SIN'-uh-muh). Trump didn't say why he thought Sinema was "strange."

Trump spoke during a roundtable Friday at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona with defense industry executives and local business leaders. He's in Arizona to help stump for McSally.

The two congresswomen are vying for the seat of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who is retiring. McSally was a Trump critic in 2016 and represents a Tucson district that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

She's now embraced the president and hopes his visit to Arizona helps unites Republicans against Sinema.

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4:55 p.m.

Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump have lined up outside an airplane hangar in a Phoenix suburb awaiting his arrival.

The typically chaotic protests that follow Trump when he visits Arizona haven't materialized Friday, as many of the activists who usually stage them said they are working on get-out-the-vote efforts instead. The midterm elections are 2½ weeks away.

Trump is due to tour the Luke Air Force Base northwest of Phoenix on Friday.

About a half dozen anti-Trump protesters are present.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against the city of Phoenix over the police department's response to protesters outside a Trump rally last year. The lawsuit claims police used excessive force in trying to disburse the crowds, using smoke, pepper balls and tear gas.

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1:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is suggesting without evidence that Democrats or their allies are supporting a "caravan" of Central American migrants who are traveling north aiming to enter the United States.

Addressing thousands of supporters at a campaign rally Thursday night in Montana, Trump said immigration is now one of the leading issues in the 2018 midterms, and he accused Democrats of supporting the migrants because they "figure everybody coming in is going to vote Democrat."

The comments mark the injection of one of Trump's signature 2016 campaign themes back into national conversation as he looks to boost Republican turnout to maintain their congressional majorities in 2018.

Trump was in Montana to boost GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, who is running against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

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