The Latest: Trump kicks off rally blitz with immigrant fears

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s final rally blitz before the midterm elections (all times local):

9:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump has kicked off his final campaign rally blitz before the midterm elections by accusing the media of sowing division and stoking fears about illegal immigration.

Trump’s rally in Estero, Florida, on Wednesday was the first of 11 events he will hold across eight battlefield states over the next six days as he tries to bolster Republican turnout and counter Democratic enthusiasm heading into Election Day.

The president continued the grievance airing that has long been a fixture of his rallies, seizing on news reports about protests during his Tuesday visit to Pittsburgh, where he paid his respects to the 11 people killed at a synagogue.

The president implored rallygoers to vote and painted a dark picture of the stakes. He also railed against birthright citizenship, which he has threatened to end via executive order.

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8:30 p.m.

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis says perhaps his Democratic opponent should be impeached as Tallahassee mayor over ethics questions.

DeSantis criticized his Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum, at length Wednesday at a Florida rally featuring President Donald Trump.

He brought up an ongoing ethics investigation involving Gillum. Gillum has asserted he paid his way on trips to Costa Rica and New York City, but newly released documents appear to contradict the Tallahassee mayor.

Gillum has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing in the ethics probe, which is separate but related to an ongoing FBI investigation into city government.

DeSantis said maybe Gillum should be impeached.

That prompted the crowd to chant, “Lock him up. Lock him up.”

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8:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is campaigning for Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for a seat in the Senate.

At a rally Wednesday, Trump called Scott “a talent.” He says Scott takes a problem and “turns it into an asset.”

Scott told the crowd that as governor, he’s worked to create jobs in Florida, and he accused Nelson of caring only about one job — “his.”

Scott said that if elected, he would work to cut taxes and regulations and reduce government debt. He implored voters to cast their ballots.

Trump is campaigning Wednesday night in Estero, just outside Fort Myers, in Florida.

Trump also is stumping for Republican Ron DeSantis, who is in a tight race against Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor.

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7:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is criticizing news reports of his trip to Pittsburgh to mourn the lives of 11 people gunned down in a synagogue.

Trump claimed Wednesday at a rally in Florida that any protests in Pennsylvania were small and far away from where he was.

A small group of protesters was in earshot of Trump as he visited a memorial outside of the Tree of Life synagogue, and hundreds more were kept blocks away by police.

The demonstrators chanted “Words matter” and “Trump, go home!” amid accusations from some that the president has at times been slow to condemn extremists. Some community leaders had asked Trump not to make the trip.

The president said Wednesday that the Trump movement is about love for fellow Americans but that the “fake” media is doing everything it can to “push people apart.”

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2:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off a final rally blitz with just days to go before midterm elections that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress.

He’s attending 11 rallies across eight states over the next six days.

The final push begins Wednesday night in Estero, just outside Fort Myers, in Florida, where Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is being challenged by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. In addition, Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis are locked in a tight race to replace Scott as governor.

Trump will also be visiting Pensacola in Florida as part of the sprint. He has scheduled two rallies each in Indiana and Missouri, plus stops in Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Montana and West Virginia. It’s all aimed at countering Democratic enthusiasm heading into Tuesday’s vote.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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