EL PASO — President Donald Trump on Monday took a jab at El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, saying he was “stuffed with crap” if he didn’t imagine border fencing made the town safer.

“When that wall went up, it was a complete completely different ballgame,” Trump mentioned, referring to fencing alongside the El Paso border with Mexico. “I don’t care if a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat. They’re stuffed with crap if they are saying it doesn’t make a distinction.”

Margo, a Republican, has disputed Trump’s State of the Union declare that El Paso was among the many most harmful cities within the nation earlier than border fencing was put in.

“My job as mayor is to characterize El Paso factually and with integrity, correcting any misstatements negatively reflecting on our group,” Margo informed the El Paso Instances after the president spoke. He later tweeted the identical assertion. “I don’t give attention to political rhetoric, solely details in order that my statements won’t ever be questioned.”

Trump’s statements have been extensively disputed by metropolis leaders and a number of reality checks, together with one by the El Paso Instances.

Some type of barrier has existed between El Paso and Juárez for many years, whether or not it was a chain-link fence at completely different stretches of the border or the extra substantial barrier that stands right this moment.

In keeping with the FBI’s Uniform Crime Studies, violent crime in El Paso fell dramatically between 1993 and 2006. From 2006 to 2011 — two years earlier than the fence was constructed to 2 years after — the variety of recorded violent crimes in El Paso elevated by 17 p.c, the stories say. The figures had been under the common for big U.S. cities. 

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke held a dueling rally close to the El Paso County Coliseum, the place Trump spoke to six,500 folks inside and a number of other thousand exterior. 

O’Rourke’s rally drew a crowd that organizers estimate to be between 6,000 and seven,000. Official estimates weren’t offered by police.

“With the eyes of the nation upon us, all of us collectively are going to make our stand,” O’Rourke informed the gang of a number of thousand at his rally. “Right here in one of many most secure cities within the USA. Secure not due to partitions however regardless of partitions.”

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The Democrat, who’s considering getting into the 2020 presidential election, decried the Republican president’s hard-line rhetoric on immigration that has develop into the centerpiece of his administration.

Trump arrived in El Paso for his first of marketing campaign look of 2019 at the same time as native leaders from each events have stoutly contested the assertion that the area was saved from rampant cross-border violent crime by the fencing that went up greater than 10 years in the past.

Trump’s wide-ranging tackle touched on matters from Texas’ booming oil and fuel trade to his tackle the Democrats searching for to oust him in 2020.

The central focus for Trump was funding for his long-promised border wall and a flat rejection of the statistics and officers who’re standing in his means.

“We want the wall,” Trump mentioned. “And it needs to be constructed, and we’ve to construct it quick.”

The El Paso County Coliseum holds about 6,500 folks, however President Donald Trump informed the gang that his marketing campaign acquired particular permission from the El Paso Hearth Division to let 10,000 inside.

“If you wish to actually see one thing go exterior,” he mentioned. “Tens of 1000’s of individuals are watching” on screens.

An El Paso Hearth Division spokesman on Monday mentioned the president’s declare in regards to the variety of folks within the coliseumm was incorrect.

Enrique D Aguilar, fireplace public info officer, mentioned no particular permission was given by the Hearth Division, and the Coliseum had about 6,500 folks in it in the course of the president’s rally — at capability, however properly inside its customary allowance.

Aguilar mentioned “it could be 10,000 with the folks exterior” complete, however the Hearth Division didn’t observe the variety of folks exterior. The Coliseum was full at about four p.m., and 1000’s watched the president’s speech on massive screens exterior.

El Paso, which shares a border with Juarez, Mexico, is without doubt one of the most reliably Democratic strongholds in Republican-led Texas.

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Trump garnered solely 26 p.c of the vote in El Paso in the course of the 2016 basic election. 

“That is private. It’s an assault on our metropolis, our group and our households,” mentioned U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who served as El Paso County decide earlier than her election to Congress final yr. “That being mentioned, we welcome the president. He has the chance to appropriate the report and to see the implications of his administration’s insurance policies.”

President Donald Trump boards Air Drive One as he leaves Andrews Air Drive Base in Maryland on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a visit to El Paso. Trump will maintain his first marketing campaign rally since November’s midterm elections in El Paso as he faces a defining week for his push for a border wall, his presidency and his 2020 prospects.

The president arrived at El Paso Worldwide Airport aboard Air Drive One round 6:30 p.m. native time. However his supporters started lining up as many as 10 hours earlier than that.

On the enviornment, Trump was welcomed by scores of supporters, a few of whom traveled from neighboring New Mexico and Arizona to cheer his requires better safety on the nation’s southern border.

Each of Texas’ Republican U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, had been referred to as to heat up the gang inside the sector forward the president’s arrival. When Cruz exclaimed, “It’s time to construct the wall,” the gang erupted and echoed with the signature chant, “Construct the wall! Construct the wall.”

Almost all wore Trump regalia, from “Make America Nice Once more” ball caps to “Trump 2020 shirts and buttons.

Democratic leaders, led by former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, participated in what they name a “March for Reality” to fight Trump’s statements in regards to the border metropolis.

Buttons backing a presidential run by Beto O’Rourke are on sale Monday earlier than his rally.

El Paso  native Yolanda Moreno was among the many first to assemble exterior the town’s Bowie Excessive College not removed from the prevailing fencing on the border. 

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“I initially had tickets to the Trump rally, then my son introduced this (rally) to my consideration,” mentioned Moreno, who bought a “Beto for President” flag for the event. The rationale she wished to attend the Trump occasion, she mentioned, was “to listen to what he needed to say. Hear his lies.”

However the president’s supporters mentioned they had been drawn to his message and to the insurance policies he is pursued throughout his two years within the White Home.

“For the reason that president introduced his marketing campaign, we appreciated what he provided the veterans, the tax proposal, and up to now he has held to his guarantees,” mentioned Ismael Lozado, an El Paso resident who arrived on the coliseum round 1:30 p.m.  “I do imagine we’d like a wall as a rustic. Any nation must defend its borders.”

On the Trump rally, the president’s son and namesake took a shot on the O’Rourke-led occasion.

“I’d be extra impressed if he had the heart to do his rally on the Juarez aspect of the wall,” mentioned Donald Trump Jr.

Though Trump campaigned for the wall, each as a candidate on the 2016 path and as president, no funding for his imaginative and prescient for the bodily barrier has been authorized by Congress, even in the course of the first two years of his administration when Republicans managed by the Home and Senate.

The fencing in El Paso, and down river to Brownsville and the Decrease Rio Grande Valley, is a part of the initiative launched underneath the-President George W. Bush a dozen years in the past.

Trump’s insistence on wall funding was central to the record-setting partial shutdown of the federal authorities. However when a brief settlement to reopen the federal government was reached, wall funding was not included.

And as administration and congressional leaders search to achieve a long-term deal by Feb. 15, Democratic leaders have mentioned that wall funding won’t be a part of any border safety bundle.

Associated protection of Trump’s go to

Extra: Forward of Trump El Paso rally, migrants proceed arriving in Juárez

Extra: El Paso mayor solutions questions on Trump go to

Employees writers Aaron Martinez, Daniel Borunda, Vic Kolenc, Maria Cortez, Nick Ounces, Jackie Devine, Rafael Carranza, Blake Gumbrecht, Sara Sanchez, Diana Soular and David Davis contributed to this report.

This text initially appeared on El Paso Instances: Donald Trump makes use of El Paso rally to make his case for border wall funding

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