President Trump is now en route to California on Air Force One, along with senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and Mick Mulvaney, acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.
Trump fielded a few questions from reporters about his decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before leaving the White House.
President Trump set out to confront California’s resistance in person on Tuesday as both sides prepared for a fight over his signature issue, a southern border wall, and the immigration enforcement issues that attend it.
Immigrant, labor and LGBTQ rights activists said President Trump represented the antithesis of California’s values and was not welcome in the state, as they rallied Monday on the eve of his first presidential visit.
“We welcomed all the presidents that have come before him to this great state, but what we will not welcome are seeds of division and hate. What we will not welcome is racism,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. “We have a president who has decided to advance a racist agenda that denies people their most basic human dignity and rights, and we are not about that in California.”
Trump is scheduled to view prototypes of his proposed border wall, address members of the military and headline a high-dollar fundraiser in Beverly Hills. He is expected to leave Wednesday.
President Trump’s well-documented clashes with California owe plenty to politics, culture and personality. But at bottom, what drives the president’s toxic relationship with the nation’s most populous state is this: his near-obsessive desire to be seen as a winner.