President Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, just hours after signing an executive order that he says will keep families together if they are detained after crossing at the southern border.
Trump is scheduled to be be speaking at 6:30 p.m. local time, which is 7:30 p.m. Eastern at the AMSOIL Arena. You can watch live stream video of the rally above. Trump’s schedule has been delayed because of the signing of the executive order, so it is not clear exactly when he will be taking the stage. Crowds had already started gathering at the arena Wednesday afternoon. The arena holds about 8,500 people. Protesters also gathered at the arena, according to KARE-TV.
Trump will also be hosting a roundtable at the Port of Duluth to discuss trade and the mining industry, according to the White House. The meeting, billed as a discussion about “promoting and protecting American workers,” will be attended by representatives of the mining and steel industries along with the area’s congressman and local politicians, the White House says. The meeting will last about an hour before Trump heads to the arena for the campaign rally.
While Trump’s roundtable and campaign rally are supposed to be focused on trade issues, the president is likely to talk about immigration and the controversy surrounding his administration’s “no tolerance policy” to arrest anyone who illegally crosses the border. That policy change led to an increase in the amount of children separated from their parents and outrage from both Democrats and Republicans.
Hours before the rally, Trump signed an executive order at the White House that the administration says will keep most families together, according to CNN. But as many have pointed out, Trump did not need to sign an executive order to reverse the policy causing the issue at the border. The order blames Congress for the issue, which many have said is wrong.
“It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law,” the order states.
While Trump was busy signing the executive order in D.C., things got off to a shaky start in Duluth. The arena was without power for part of the afternoon and early evening, leaving people stuck in a hot skyway waiting to get inside, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Officials told the newspaper that power would be fully restored in time for the start of the rally and it would cool down quickly.
Several Minnesota politicians who involved in 2018 races will be joining Trump at the rally, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. Karin Housely, who is the Republican-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson will be at the rally, along with Pete Stauber, who is running for Congress in Minnesota’s 8th District, U.S. Senate candidate Jim Newberger and Jim Hagedorn, who is running for the open 1st Congressional District seat.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, there were large crowds gathered at the arena.
“I’m very excited to see him in person. It shows he represents us,” Gary Nystrom, 54, who drove almost 150 miles from Staples for the rally, told the newspaper. He said he voted for the first time in his life in 2016 when he cast a ballot for Trump and was especially energized by his immigration views. “It’s like being at a rock concert,” he said.