Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guest gathered during a campaign event at the International Air Response facility on December 16, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.
Ralph Freso—Getty Images
By Jennifer Calfas
August 22, 2017

President Donald Trump is holding a campaign-style rally to garner support from his base in Arizona Monday night — a week after he doubled down on his controversial remarks defending white supremacists who incited violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

Held in Phoenix, the rally will be Trump’s first visit to Arizona as president. During his campaign, Trump made trips to Arizona, where he promised to build a wall along the southern border of the U.S. as part of his immigration plan.

The planned rally is expected to be met with protests from residents and condemnations from local officials, who have taken issue with Trump’s policies and rhetoric — especially in recent weeks following his comments on white supremacy.

“America is hurting,” wrote Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, in an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Monday. “And it is hurting largely because Trump has doused racial tensions with gasoline. With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match.”

Arizona is also home to Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake — both of whom have come out against Trump on several issues in the past and have been publicly criticized by the president. Trump has openly shared his support for Flake’s GOP primary challenger, Kelli Ward, on Twitter, and he could use the rally to continue promoting her.

It is also possible Trump could pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of contempt by a federal judge last month. Arpaio, who endorsed Trump for president, was notorious for his stance against undocumented immigrants and anti-immigration rhetoric.

The rally is scheduled to begin at the Phoenix Convention Center at 10 p.m. E.T.

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