Quotes From Trump's Phoenix Speech Show It Was A Complete Train Wreck
On Tuesday night, Trump spoke in front of his followers at a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona. During the course of the event, there were a number of absurd quotes from Trump's Phoenix rally speech, some of which can be proven as straight-up lies.
While thousands of MAGA supporters showed up to Trump's speech in Phoenix, there were also thousands of protesters outside the rally at the nearby Herberger Theater Center. In fact, the amount of backlash was so great there were barricades constructed outside the theater to separate Trump supporters from protesters.
Inside the rally, however, Trump was given a stage to air his grievances — and air his grievances he did. During his speech, Trump touched on everything from the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, to his ongoing hatred of the media, and of course, the wall he wants to build along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.
While the topics themselves were to be expected, with some more urgent and relevant than others, Trump upped the stakes by retooling some of his own past statements, and making even bigger promises to his followers. CNN's Don Lemon called the speech "a total eclipse of the facts" and said that the president "came out on stage and lied directly to the American people. And left things out that he said in an attempt to rewrite history, especially when it comes to Charlottesville."
Here are some of the most ridiculous things Trump said at his rally in Phoenix.
His Comments On Charlottesville
This was the first time the president publicly spoke since his remarks on the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, which he originally responded to by saying that there were "two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for the country, but there are two sides to a story."
Conveniently, during his rally in Phoenix, Trump berated the media's coverage of his Charlottesville remarks, omitting his original statement that "both sides" were to blame, despite the fact that it has been recorded and witnessed by journalists and the public at large.
This is my exact words: "I love all the people of our country. We're going to make America great again, but we're going to make it great for all of the people of the United States of America." And then they say, is he a racist? Is he a racist?
For reference, thousands of white supremacists gathered to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. When a smaller group of anti-racist counter-protester gathered to face the hate groups, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed by a car driven by a neo-Nazi.
When He Threatened To Shut Down The Government
In a huge promise to his followers, Trump said he'd shut down the government temporarily in order to gather funding for his wall on the U.S. and Mexican border.
[B]elieve me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall. ... We're going to have our wall. We're going to get our wall. ... The American people voted for immigration control. That's one of the reasons I'm here, and that is what the American people deserve, and they're going to get it.
His Talk Of Pardoning Joe Arpaio
While he didn't officially issue a pardon, Trump gave a shout out to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt in July after refusing to follow a judge's orders that barred him from aggressively profiling Latinos.
"I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy. But Sheriff Joe can feel good," Trump said, hinting at a potential pardoning of Arpaio.
His Insults To Jeff Flake And John McCain
While he didn't use either of their names, Trump clearly reference John McCain and Jeff Flake during his speech on Tuesday night.
One of his shout-outs referenced McCain's vote against the GOP health care bill, which lost in a close vote of 49-51.
[T]hink, we were just one vote away from victory after seven years of everybody proclaiming repeal and replace. One vote away. One vote away. We were one vote away. Think of it, seven years the Republicans— and again, you have some great senators, but we were one vote away from repealing it.
And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who's weak on borders, weak on crime, so I won't talk about him. Nobody wants me to talk about him.
When Trump Said He'll Probably End NAFTA
During his speech, Trump suggested that the U.S. might end NAFTA, with claims that his administration will "end up probably terminating" the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico "at some point."
Personally, I don't think we can make a deal, because we have been so badly taken advantage of.
Last week, negotiators from Canada and Mexico began working with the U.S. to formally retool the 23-year-old pact, which opens up trade and economic opportunities between the countries. It's unclear yet how serious Trump's statement is.
The Size Of His Crowd
In keeping with his pattern of overestimating crowds, Trump claimed his crowd has huge, larger than reality.
As everybody here remembers, this was the scene of my first rally speech, right? The crowds were so big, almost as big as tonight.
While the precise attendance numbers for the Tuesday night rally aren't determined, it should be noted that Trump claimed as many as 10,000 to 15,000 to 20,000 people came to see him for the July 11, 2015, speech he referenced — in reality, Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman Shelly Jamison estimated 4,169 attendees when the doors closed.
So, if Trump was in fact right about the numbers Tuesday, they edged on about 4,000.