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Trump declares ‘I love Milwaukee’

By: Associated Press//June 21, 2024//

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Trump declares ‘I love Milwaukee’

By: Associated Press//June 21, 2024//

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RACINE, Wisconsin (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday repeatedly praised Milwaukee just weeks before it hosts the Republican National Convention, playing cleanup after he reportedly used the word “horrible” in talking about swing-state Wisconsin’s largest city.

“I love Milwaukee,” Trump told the crowd in nearby Racine, Wisconsin. He was reported to have used the word in a closed-door meeting with Republicans in the U.S. House. Several of his allies who were in the meeting later suggested he was talking about crime and voter fraud.

Wisconsin is one of a handful of battleground states likely to determine this year’s presidential race. It was one of the so-called Democratic “blue wall” states that Trump narrowly won in 2016, paving the way for his surprise victory. Biden flipped the state back in 2020, and both campaigns are targeting it heavily this year.

Trump’s Tuesday event in downtown Racine had the feel of a small town Fourth of July celebration. Before the presumptive GOP nominee’s arrival, country music blared from speakers as Trump and American flags waved near a harbor overlooking Lake Michigan. Families gathered under trees, trying to avoid the 83-degree heat while eating tacos and sipping lemonade.

“Wisconsin is Trump country” was written across a large sign as supporters began to gather on the grass, wearing red, white and blue.

In a separate television interview, Trump also denied reports on Tuesday that, during the convention, he was planning to stay overnight in Chicago, Milwaukee’s rival 90 miles to the south, where Trump also has a downtown skyscraper along the Chicago River.

Trump, in his speech, hammered Biden on immigration and the border, including an announcement Tuesday that his administration will in the coming months allow certain spouses of U.S. citizens without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship.

The move, which could offer relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the U.S., came after Biden announced his own aggressive crackdown on the southern border earlier this month, enraging advocates and many Democratic lawmakers.

Trump has frequently described the record number of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as an “invasion,” suggesting without evidence that Biden is abetting illegal border crossings to help Democrats win elections.

“Our country is under invasion. We should not be talking amnesty. We should be talking about stopping the invasion instead,” Trump said, calling the plan “an attack on American democracy.”

The crowd responded with chants of “Send them back!”

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