ALAMO, Texas — President Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Tuesday trumpeting one of the pillars of his presidency: his campaign against illegal immigration and building a wall along the southern border.
It was Trump’s first time appearing in public since a violent mob of his supporters sieged the nation’s Capitol last week in an effort to halt the peaceful transition of power. He is anxious to highlight accomplishments as his presidency winds down, the White House said.
The visit came as Democrats in the U.S. House are pushing for an impeachment vote Wednesday after formally introducing their impeachment charge.
In brief remarks to reporters as he left the White House for Texas, Trump took no responsibility for the Capitol riot. “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said of the remarks he made to his supporters.
Later speaking at the Rio Grande Valley town of Alamo, Trump said “be careful of what you wish for” as House lawmakers were also considering a resolution Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to serve.
Pence is not expected to take any such action, regardless of the vote.
Trump said as he visited the southern border wall: “The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration.” He added, “As the expression goes, be careful of what you wish for.”
After voting on the resolution, the House will then proceed with the legislation to impeach Trump. The president said the effort is causing “tremendous, anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.”
Trump also addressed last week’s violence at the Capitol saying, “We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting.”
Trump visited Alamo to mark the completion of 400 miles of border wall and his administration’s efforts to reform what the White House described as the nation’s broken immigration system.
Trump said the wall has been crucial for securing the border and maintained that he’s put an end to “immigration chaos,” despite the chaos his administration created with its child separation policy and attempted travel bans.
Before he spoke, Trump used a sharpie to once again sign his autograph on a plaque on the wall.
The Rio Grande Valley is the site of furious legal and construction activity related to the border wall as U.S. Customs and Border Protection races to build new miles of fencing ahead of Inauguration Day.
Trump’s campaign for the presidency in 2016 focused extensively on the president’s desire to construct a border wall. He also promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but it has been paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
While most of the wall went up in areas that had smaller barriers, the government has built hundreds of miles of fencing as high as 30 feet in a short amount of time — most of it this year.
The administration prioritized areas where the wall could be built more quickly, and crews have blasted hills and bulldozed sensitive habitats in national wildlife refuges and on American Indian land to do it.
The trip marked the second visit to the Rio Grande Valley of Trump’s presidency. He previously visited McAllen in 2019 in the midst of a partial government shutdown related to his push for border wall funding.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not Trump for the trip. They were in Austin on Tuesday for the opening day of the biennial legislative session, according to their offices.