Speed Reads

The Phoenix rally

During Phoenix rally, Trump defends his Charlottesville remarks as thousands protest outside

As thousands of protesters stood outside, President Trump spoke to supporters Tuesday night in the Phoenix Convention Center about his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; complained about the media; hinted that he'll soon pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff convicted of criminal contempt of court; and said the wall would be built along the U.S.-Mexico border "even if we have to close down our government" to get the funds.

Trump spent the first 30 minutes of his speech defending his Charlottesville remarks and decrying the criticism he received from "dishonest" people who thought he took too long to comment. He reread his Charlottesville comments, omitting the part where he equated white supremacists to protesters, and accused the media of "trying to take away our history and our heritage" and giving hate groups "a platform."

When Trump mentioned Arpaio, the crowd cheered, and he said: "I'll make a prediction: I think he's going to be just fine. I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy. But Sheriff Joe can feel good." He briefly mentioned tax reform, immigration, and getting rid of ObamaCare, and said he wouldn't talk about Arizona's Republican U.S. senators who are "weak on borders and weak on crime." Trump also falsely claimed multiple times that there weren't very many protesters outside, and kept saying he could see CNN turning off their cameras, even though the network aired the rally in its entirety.