President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Latest: Trump: I'm torn on when to shut down government

August 02, 2018 - 8:15 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he remains "a little bit torn" about whether it would be better to shut down the government before or after the midterm elections in an effort to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.

Trump said Thursday at a rally in Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree), Pennsylvania, that while many in the party disagree, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News personality Sean Hannity share his belief that a fall shutdown would be politically advantageous for Republicans in the midterms.

Trump says that he's "a little torn myself" but that he "would personally prefer before."

He adds, "Whether it's before or after, we're either getting it or we're closing down government."

Trump has been threatening another government shutdown to pressure Congress to fund the wall they've so far denied him.

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7:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is continuing to air his grievances against the press, calling them "the fake, fake disgusting news."

Trump told a rally crowd in Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree), Pennsylvania, on Thursday that the media refuses to give him credit for a long list of accomplishments, including his summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

He's describing how he tells his wife about how he "just stopped missiles from being launched every two seconds" or accomplished other things, and thinks the media" is "finally going to treat me so good," but doesn't.

He's also mocking the press for saying he wasn't tough enough on Putin.

He says, "They wanted me to go up and have a boxing match," but asks: "Whatever happened to diplomacy?"

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7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is hailing Senate candidate Lou Barletta as a "star" and a "legend" during a rally in Pennsylvania.

Trump said Thursday in Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree) that Rep. Barletta is "smart, he's strong, he loves this state."

And he says: "He's like a legend."

Barletta is running to unseat two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, whom Trump blasted as "so overrated."

Barletta claims that Casey has become one of the most liberal senators in Washington and says he no longer represents the values of the people of Pennsylvania.

Barletta is a fervent Trump supporter who shares Trump's hard-line views on immigration.

He tells Trump: "We're not tiring of winning, Mr. President. We're not tired of winning."

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7:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is once again fondly recalling the night of his 2016 election victory.

Trump took the stage at a Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree), Pennsylvania, rally on Thursday by declaring: "I'm thrilled to be back in the state that gave us American independence."

He's asking his supporters to "remember that incredible night" when he won the 2016 election.

He's also accusing the "fake news" of dragging its feet and refusing to call the state in his favor sooner and blaming "suppression polls" for misrepresenting his support.

There is no evidence either is the case.

Trump was the first Republican presidential nominee to win Pennsylvania since 1988.

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5:45 p.m.

More than 100 protesters are lined up on either side of the sidewalk ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance at a rally in Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-ba-ree), Pennsylvania.

It's forcing Trump's supporters to walk a narrow gantlet Thursday on their way to the arena as protesters scream at them, "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

Thirty-six-year-old union laborer Jeff LaFrance held up one end of a giant "Impeach Trump" sign and says he has no sympathy for the rally attendees.

He says he thinks "it's shameful they could support someone the likes of Trump."

He's also calling Trump's supporters "willfully ignorant" about issues like the separation of migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border.

Most rallygoers ignored the taunts, but some engaged, yelling "Trump! Trump!" or muttering epithets.

One man replied cheerfully, "I'm a proud Deplorable!"

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump swiped Pennsylvania from the Democrats in 2016. Now he is trying to help Republicans take a Senate seat there.

Trump is holding a rally Thursday evening in Wilkes-Barre to back Rep. Lou Barletta, who's running to unseat two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Barletta is a fervent Trump supporter who shares his hard-line views on immigration. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Pennsylvania since 1988.

Trump has accelerated his campaign schedule in recent weeks to help Republicans he favors both in primaries and November's midterms.

The rally comes at a tumultuous time for Trump, who lashed out this week at the Russia probe that threatens his presidency.

It also comes during a period of heightened antagonism from Trump and his supporters toward the media.

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