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Arizona congressman says President Donald Trump is ‘clearly a racist’

PHOENIX — Hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to arrive in the state Tuesday, an Arizona congressman branded him as a racist and a liar.

“The president is clearly racist,” Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego told CNN. “I don’t understand how much more history we need and more examples.”

Trump’s visit to a both Marine base and the border in Yuma followed by a 7 p.m. rally at the Phoenix Convention Center were his first major appearances since racial violence broke out during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The president has sent mixed messages about white supremacists since those protests. He blamed both sides for the violence before condemning white supremacists after a national outcry, but returned to his original stance just a day later.

Gallego said Charlottesville was just the latest racial misstep made by Trump, who has said he was not racist.

“He says a lot of things, but look, we have to also admit that he’s an abject liar and no one is going to claim that they’re a racist, but the man is,” Gallego said. “I apologize to the American public but we elected a racist as president.”

Though it was unknown what Trump planned to talk about during his visit, Gallego said his insensitivity to racial issues would likely lead to talk about the border wall and a potential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“I think he’s coming to Arizona because he wants to stoke his base up and talk about the border wall and that’s why he’ll be talking about Sheriff Joe Arpaio,” Gallego said.

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