POLITICS

Here Are The Wildest Moments From Trump's Wild Arizona Rally

23/08/2017 06:50 SAST | Updated 23/08/2017 06:50 SAST

President Donald Trump blasted the media, criticized members of Congress and suggested he'd shut down the government to build a border wall during a frenzied, 77-minute campaign-style rally in Phoenix Tuesday night that left some commentators wondering about his fitness for office.

Trump appeared more relaxed during the rally than he did the night before, when he read an announcement about the U.S.'s Afghanistan strategy off a teleprompter. The president revisited many messages he pushed during his campaign days and doubled down on some of his more recent controversial messages, including his response to white supremacist protests that took place last week in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Below, a breakdown of some of the wildest moments from the rally.

1. He kicked off the speech by re-reading all his responses to the protests in Charlottesville. While going over his widely-criticized initial response, Trump omitted the most controversial part of his initial statement, in which he blamed "many sides" for violence there.

2. He called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

3. He suggested he'd shut down the government if it meant he could get a wall built along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"If we have to shut down that government, we're building that wall," Trump said. "One way or another we're going to get that wall."

4. He argued the media is "trying to take away our history, our heritage."

"The only thing giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news," Trump said.

"I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that," he added.

5. He defended his remarks on Charlottesville by saying he "hit" various racist groups.

"I hit 'em with neo-Nazi, I hit 'em with everything," he said. "I got the white supremacist, I got the neo-Nazi, I got 'em all in there, let's see. KKK? We have KKK. I got 'em all."

6. He lied and said cameras at the rally were being turned off, as live streams of the speech on cable news networks continued to roll. He specifically called out CNN, which aired Trump's speech until the end.

7. He teased a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County who convicted of criminal contempt.

8. He bragged about how he lives in a "bigger, more beautiful apartment" than the journalists who cover him.

9. He lamented CNN's firing of Jeffrey Lord, a pro-Trump commentator formerly featured on the network. Lord was fired for tweeting the Nazi salute "Sieg Heil" earlier in August.

10. He slammed both Republican Arizona senators: Jeff Flake, who has recently spoken out against Trump, and John McCain, who cast a pivotal vote that caused the GOP's Obamacare repeal bill to flame out in the Senate in July. McCain is currently receiving treatment for brain cancer.

11. He, again, requested statues of George Washington be protected, a request he's made since many Confederate statues and monuments around the U.S. have been removed or relocated.

12. He suggested "we will probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point."

13. The president praised Fox News and Sean Hannity.