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Vice President Mike Pence expected to join Trump at Phoenix rally

In this Aug. 10, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, speaks to reporters before a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PHOENIX — Vice President Mike Pence is expected to join President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, according to NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard.

The rally on Tuesday will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center. It will be Trump’s first time visiting the state as president.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will not attend the rally and will instead work with law enforcement to ensure any protests held outside the event are peaceful, according to spokesman Daniel Scarpinato.

However, Ducey will meet Trump at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport when Air Force One lands.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton urged Trump to postpone his rally in the wake of the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12. The attacks stemmed from a white nationalist rally to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

The deaths of three people were linked to the rally. Heather Hoyer died after a vehicle drove into a group of counterprotesters and two Virginia State Police officers, Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, died as they were assisting with the rally.

“I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville,” Stanton said in a statement. “It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit.”

Rumors swirling around rally, expected to highlight Flake feud

Trump’s appearance is expected to highlight his feud with Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican incumbent who is trying to hold onto a seat that the party needs to keep control of Congress.

Meanwhile, Trump is actively campaigning against Flake, tweeting on Aug. 17, “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”

Ward lost to Sen. John McCain by more than 60,000 votes in the Aug. 2016 primary election. She recently came under fire for suggesting McCain step down from office after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in July.

Rumors have been swirling whether Trump will pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during his visit on Tuesday.

Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in July, was one of the president’s most prominent supporters during the election. According to a recent poll, half of Arizonans think Trump should not pardon Arpaio on Tuesday.

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