His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up — or down — and galvanize the American public.
We're watching how Donald Trump is using this platform of unfettered communication now that he’s commander in chief. Here is everything Trump has tweeted since he was sworn in as 45th president of the United States. In many cases, we look at what he was reacting to and whether what he said was accurate. And, as much as possible, we'll relate what else was going on at the time. Check back for more as Trump continues to tweet.
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President Trump is trying to balance growing concerns about the legal troubles facing his administration with claims that he is one of the most productive presidents in U.S. history.
His critics argue that Trump has accomplished little on the legislative front, but the president argued otherwise in a series of tweets sent Saturday night.
Earlier Saturday, Trump celebrated the latest stock market milestones, with both the Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average closing Friday at all-time highs, the fifth straight record close for each.
Trump also touted the Labor Department's release Thursday of statistics showing that claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 last week to 222,000, the fewest since March 1973.
The president spent the week feuding over a condolence call with the family of a soldier killed in Niger.
President Trump has sought recently to draw attention to his administration's strides forward, touting a strong economy, gains in the U.S. fight against terrorism and the Senate passage of a budget blueprint that paves the way for his proposed tax plan.
But for much of Saturday afternoon, Trump appeared preoccupied with the past.
Trump revisited several issues related to the 2016 presidential campaign in a series of tweets sent a short time after he returned to the White House from his Virginia golf club.
The president first weighed in on a dossier of allegations about his connections to Russia that became public a short time before his inauguration. The political research firm that compiled the dossier balked this week at subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee.
After suggesting earlier in the week that the dossier had been paid for by Russia, the FBI, the Democrats or some combination, Trump tweeted Saturday a demand that federal officials "immediately release" the identity of exactly who had done so.
The dossier contends the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump and was engaged in an effort to support and assist him in the election. Trump has denied that.
Trump next appeared to downplay news that emerged last month that Facebook had sold about $100,000 in ads to a Russian troll farm during the campaign. The social media giant has agreed to share more than 3,000 of those ads with congressional panels investigating foreign meddling in the 2016 election.
The shadowy group, known as the Internet Research Agency, placed ads believed to have been seen on at least 10 million Facebook users’ news feeds. The ads were aimed at inflaming divisive social issues such as race, gun control and gay rights to potentially tip the scales in Trump’s favor.
Trump on Saturday compared the pro-Kremlin firm's purchase of the propaganda ads to "the billions of dollars of Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC & CBS." He also contended that Facebook had actually sided during the election with his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russia to win the election and has voiced skepticism about the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had a clear preference for Trump in the 2016 campaign.
The continuing investigations and attention to the issue have infuriated the president, who sees the efforts as an attempt to delegitimize his presidency.
— This post contains reporting from Times staff writer David Pierson
President Trump is portraying the Islamic State group's ouster from its Syrian stronghold as a milestone in the U.S. fight against terrorism and a step toward a political transition and lasting peace in Syria.
That came after Kurdish-led forces on Friday declared victory in Raqqah, the extremists' self-declared capital, where they had terrorized the population for four years.
Trump on Saturday tweeted a link to a report from the Hill in which the president hailed the development as a "critical breakthrough" in the United States' campaign to defeat Islamic State.
That assessment, which Trump also included in a statement released Saturday, runs counter to warnings in recent days from his national security aides that the militants remain fully capable of striking American interests. And there are no signs of an impending political transition, with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government newly strengthened.
In his statement, Trump cited his efforts to empower U.S. military forces on the ground, and repeated his claim that more had been done to defeat the group in recent months "than in the past several years."
The U.S. "will soon transition into a new phase" in Syria, Trump said, and offer support to local security forces. He said the U.S. will back diplomatic negotiations to end the violence, allow refugees to return safely home, and "yield a political transition that honors the will of the Syrian people."
There is no indication, however, that a political transition will come anytime soon.
United Nations-led talks have shown no serious signs of picking up steam. The ouster of Islamic State forces from Raqqah and other parts of Syria has overlapped with the increased influence of Iran and Russia in the country and a stronger hand for Assad, dimming prospects even further for the type of political solution the U.S. has long wanted to see.
And national security officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have warned that just because Islamic State has been evicted from Raqqah, that doesn't mean the group won't be able to carry out attacks against the U.S.
President Trump tweeted Saturday morning that, pending more information, he plans to allow the release of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Several media outlets had reported in recent days that White House officials expected the president to block the release of thousands of classified files as security agencies voiced concerns that sensitive documents could be included if the full trove of more than 3,000 files is released.
The tweet didn't specify whether the president intends to allow all, or just some, of the information to become public, and he stipulates that the decision is "subject to the receipt of further information."
The White House clarified later in the day with an unattributed statement that "the President believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise."
Unwilling to put the tussling behind him, President Trump on Saturday jabbed back at the Democratic lawmaker who has slammed him for his words of condolence to a military widow, calling Rep. Frederica Wilson "wacky" and contending she is "killing" her party.
Trump's broadside came a day after the White House defended Chief of Staff John F. Kelly after he mischaracterized Wilson's remarks at a 2015 FBI building dedication and called her an "empty barrel" making noise. A Trump spokeswoman said it was "inappropriate" to question Kelly in light of his stature as a retired four-star general.
The fight between Trump and the Miami-area Democrat began Tuesday, when Wilson said Trump told the pregnant widow of a service member killed in Niger that her 25-year-old husband "knew what he signed up for." Wilson was riding with the family of family of Sgt. La David Johnson to meet the body and heard the call on speakerphone.
Wilson later told reporters that Johnson's family had taken Trump's comments as an insult. Trump shot back that Wilson had "totally fabricated" the account, but the soldier's widow and aunt confirmed it as true.
In the days that followed, both Trump and Kelly publicly attacked the congresswoman, with Trump tweeting that Wilson's recounting of the call was "a total lie" and Kelly incorrectly accusing Wilson of bragging about her role in securing funding for the FBI office that was dedicated in 2015. In return, Wilson told the New York Times that the White House "is full of white supremacists."
The administration has attempted to insist that it's long past time to end the political squabbling over Trump's compassion for America's war dead, but Trump added to the volley of insults with his tweet Saturday morning.
The president also appeared to validate a supporter's suggestion Saturday that the news media is engaged in a conspiracy to place undue focus on the spat with Wilson as a means of diverting attention from other issues.
After the supporter tweeted that the media has covered the dustup to provide "a distraction" from Trump's achievements "and the massive Russian uranium bribery scandal facing team Obama and Hillary Clinton," Trump replied:
It was the second time this week that the president, in tweets and public statements, has sought to link his former Democratic presidential rival to the 2010 purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company.
The Senate Judiciary Committee launched an investigation into the handling of a criminal probe linked to the deal after the Hill reported the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials were involved in fraudulent dealings in 2009, before the uranium deal was approved.
The deal took place while Clinton was secretary of State, but her campaign and former State Department officials have said she was not involved in the approval process.
Trump's tweets assailing the motives of the congresswoman and members of the media came hours before mourners were to attend a funeral for Johnson, the soldier whose combat death initially sparked the political fight.
— Times staff writer Alex Wigglesworth contributed to this report
President Trump lamented what he characterized as inadequate media coverage of Senate Republicans' approval late Thursday of a 2018 budget, which would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to allow for Trump’s proposed tax cuts.
Passage of the GOP’s budget blueprint is a largely symbolic exercise, but it sets the stage for smoother passage of Trump’s upcoming tax cuts. It will include special instructions that allow for passage of a tax plan by a simple majority, without threat of a Senate filibuster to block it.
In a tweet early Saturday, Trump assured the public that the budget "is a really big deal, especially in terms of what will be the biggest tax cut in U.S. history."
Trump's claim relating to the size of his proposed tax cut is not accurate. His tax plan is, at most, fifth-largest in its estimated cost, says Marc Goldwein of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. It could end up being even lower on the ladder historically.
The estimated cost of the tax plan has dropped by half or more since the spring, when only the general contours were known. In an analysis in April, Goldwein's group found that the $5.5-trillion plan that was then expected would have been the third-largest since 1940 as a share of gross domestic product, behind Ronald Reagan's package in 1981 and tax cuts enacted in 1945 to phase out revenue generated for World War II.
But, citing estimated costs of $1.5 trillion to $2.5 trillion for Trump's plan now, Goldwein said several other historically significant tax cuts also would surpass Trump's: from 2013 and 1964.
—This post contains reporting from staff writer Lisa Mascaro and the Associated Press
President Trump promoted a book written by Robert Jeffress, an evangelical megachurch pastor and Fox News contributor who was also a strong Trump backer during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In a tweet sent Friday, Trump praised "A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home," and called Jeffress "a wonderful man."
Trump's tweet came less than an hour after Jeffress appeared on Fox Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" to discuss criticism of Trump leveled by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).
Wilson touched off a weeklong back-and-forth with White House officials when she described as insensitive Trump's phone call to the widow of a slain soldier. The president reportedly told the widow that the soldier "knew what he signed up for" when he joined the Army.
In his interview with Dobbs, Jeffress defended Trump's message as "absolutely appropriate."
"It is the height of hypocrisy for this wacko rhinestone cowboy congresswoman to accuse the president of insensitivity when, in fact, she's the one who is exploiting the widow's pain for her own partisan gain," Jeffress said of Wilson.
Wilson has been described as a friend of the widow's family, and both the widow and the soldier's aunt have confirmed the congresswoman's account of the phone call.
Jeffress also suggested during the interview that he would meet with Trump during the president's visit to Dallas this coming Wednesday.
Trump is slated to travel to Dallas for a fundraiser on Oct. 25, but the exact location has not been disclosed.
Friday night was not the first time Jeffress has appeared in the president's Twitter feed.
In July, Trump tweeted a flier promoting his appearance at a "Celebrate Freedom" concert and rally in Washington. Jeffress, who also spoke at the event, received second billing. His megachurch, First Baptist Dallas, was one of the event sponsors.
President Trump urged voters to sign a White House petition supporting his tax reform proposal.
The president's appeal came in the form of a video shared Friday afternoon via Twitter.
"What could possibly be more bipartisan than allowing families to keep more of what they earn and creating an environment for real job and wage growth in the country that we love so much?" Trump said in the video. "Join me in working to unleash America's full potential, and together let's set free the dreams of all of our people."
Trump then directed viewers to a WhiteHouse.gov web page featuring the petition, which invites potential signers "to stand with President Trump and support action on our broken tax system today."
Trump's tweet followed Senate Republicans' approval late Thursday of a 2018 budget blueprint that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to allow for the president's proposed tax cuts.
President Trump said Friday that the United Nations has "tremendous potential" but has been underutilized in recent years.
Trump praised U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has led the 193-member world organization since January, during an Oval Office meeting expected to focus on Trump's reform agenda, the Iran nuclear deal, Middle East peace prospects and global extremism. It was their first extended meeting.
"The United Nations has tremendous potential. It hasn't been used over the years nearly as it should be," Trump said at the White House, where he was joined by his U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, and national security advisor H.R. McMaster.
The U.N., Trump said, has the "power to bring people together, like nothing else," and he predicted that "things are going to happen with the United Nations that we haven't seen before."
Guterres and Trump met briefly at the White House in April and also held talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual meeting last month.
Guterres said he was a "true believer that we live in a messy world, but we need a strong, reformed and modernized U.N. We need a strong United States engaged, based on its traditional values — freedom, democracy, human rights."
Trump offered praise for the U.N. leader, saying "You need talent, and he's got the talent." And the president told reporters: "We'll see what happens. I'll report back to you in about seven years."
Trump said during his U.N. debut in September that the U.N. hadn't reached its potential because of "bureaucracy and mismanagement," and called upon the U.N. to change "business as usual and not be beholden to ways of the past which were not working."
He also suggested the U.S. was paying more than its fair share for U.N. operations.
President Trump praised Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera after he appeared on Friday morning's episode of "Fox & Friends" and defended the president from criticism surrounding his phone call to the widow of a slain soldier.
The controversy touched off Tuesday, when Trump called the widow of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed earlier this month in Niger, to offer condolences.
A Democratic congresswoman who heard the call later characterized Trump's tone as insensitive, sparking a back-and-forth with Trump's chief of staff, a retired Marine general who lost his son in combat.
In the "Fox & Friends" segment early Friday, Rivera claimed that the news media had "distorted" Trump's actions and lamented the fact that some had used the condolence call as an opportunity "to attack" the president.
"Anything he does is construed in the worst possible light as evil, as some kind of a secret motive, some kind of manipulation," Rivera said of Trump. "He gets no slack at all, and that's part of the reason we are so utterly divided now that even this, even the most sacred event honoring a hero, becomes politicized."
Rivera referred in part to Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida, a longtime friend of Johnson and his family who was with his widow, Myeshia Johnson, when Trump called her.
Wilson said in an interview that the president told Myeshia Johnson that her husband “must have known what he signed up for.” Wilson described the statement as "so insensitive."
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on Thursday defended Trump and assailed Wilson, whom he called “selfish” and an “empty barrel.”
On Friday, a video was released that contradicted Kelly’s condemnatory recollection of a 2015 speech by Wilson, in which he accused her of grandstanding during the dedication of an FBI facility in Miami named for fallen FBI agents.
Still, neither Kelly nor the White House on his behalf would back down.
– This post contains reporting from staff writer Noah Bierman
President Trump has misinterpreted British crime statistics and wrongly blamed terrorism as the driving factor behind higher numbers.
Terror attacks in Manchester and London that killed 35 people only account for 1/100th of a percent of the total number of crimes recorded in the report, and homicides are actually down 2%.
Trump tweeted Friday:
The president appeared to have copied the text from a graphic that aired on One America News Network a short time before his tweet, as liberal watchdog Media Matters for America noted.
An anchor at One America News thanked Trump for watching:
And Robert S. Herring, CEO of the San Diego-based conservative network, also cited its reporting as the impetus for Trump's tweet:
As Herring wrote, the 13% increase cited by One America — and subsequently by Trump — refers to crime in England and Wales, not the entire U.K., which also includes Scotland and Northern Ireland. The graphic that aired earlier Friday on One America did not clearly make that distinction. Neither did Trump's tweet.
Figures released Thursday show that police forces in England and Wales registered 5.2 million criminal offenses in the 12 months through June — a 13% increase over the previous year.
The London and Manchester terrorist attacks resulted in 35 homicides and 294 attempted murder offenses, said the Office for National Statistics. But those 329 cases account for less than 1/100th of a percent of the total number of crimes recorded in the report.
"The point is that even unprecedented levels of terrorism-related activity in the U.K. have only a marginal impact on the overall crime figures Trump is referring to," said Rajan Basra, a research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London who has studied the nexus between crime and terror. "The 13% increase is neither caused nor explained by terrorism, and it's misleading to suggest so."
The biggest jumps in crime reports came in vehicle thefts (17%) and shoplifting (11%), according to the statistics office. Significant increases also were reported in thefts from individuals, burglary and robbery.
The number of homicides actually dropped 2%, to 664, even with the terror-related killings in London and Manchester. However, terrorism did contribute to a 59% increase in attempted murder cases, according to the office. A large number of those were people injured in the Manchester and London attacks.
In a separate report released in September, Britain's Home Office said there were 379 arrests for terrorism-related offenses in the year ending June 2017 — an increase of 68%. That compares with the 226 arrests in the previous year.
It was the highest number of arrests since authorities began collecting data in 2001.
President Trump praised Senate Republicans — giving an unusually upbeat shout-out to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — for passage of a GOP budget that sets the stage for tax reform.
Along with Trump's tweets, the White House issued a statement in which the president "applauds the Senate for passing its FY 2018 Budget Resolution" and "taking an important step in advancing the administration's pro-growth and pro-jobs legislative agenda."
The proposed budget adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade to pay for Trump's tax cuts. It was approved on an essentially party-line vote, 51-49, late Thursday with one Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, joining all Democrats in opposition.
Paul rejected the party's argument that a tax-cuts package, which is still a work in progress, will more than pay for itself by spurring economic growth that will produce more revenue.
"I will fight for the biggest, boldest tax cut we can pass, but I could not in good conscience vote for a budget that ignores spending caps," the libertarian-leaning senator said.
The measure now must be reconciled with a House version.
President Trump is seeking to emphasize gains made in the United States' fight against terrorism as he continues to hit out at a congresswoman who described as "insensitive" the president's phone call to the widow of a soldier killed earlier this month in Niger.
In the first of several tweets sent Thursday night, Trump thanked the U.S.-led coalition of military forces that has been battling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Trump attached to his message a video compilation consisting largely of clips of his promises during the 2016 campaign to "destroy" Islamic State. The video concluded with an update on the coalition's progress.
Trump's tweet came two days after a U.S.-backed Syrian force said that it had wrested control of Raqqah from Islamic State, dealing a powerful symbolic blow to the militants who made the city the de facto capital of their self-styled caliphate.
Raqqah’s fall is the latest in a string of military defeats for Islamic State, which the U.S.-led coalition says has lost 87% of the territory it controlled after a lightning sweep across vast stretches of Syria and Iraq in 2014.
Trump also remains embroiled in controversy over his calls to the families of four soldiers killed in Niger after an ambush on Oct. 4.
That touched off Tuesday, when Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said during a television appearance that she had heard one of those phone calls.
Wilson has said she was with the widow of Staff Sgt. La David T. Johnson and listening by speakerphone when Trump called to offer condolences on Tuesday. Wilson, who knew Johnson, said the president told Myeshia Johnson that her husband “must have known what he signed up for.”
In a separate tweet Thursday night, Trump blasted the congresswoman as "wacky" and claimed that she had listened "secretly" to the "very personal call."
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, a retired Marine general who lost his son in combat, gave an emotional defense Thursday of Trump's call, saying that he was “stunned” and “brokenhearted” to see Wilson on television describing Trump's conversation.
While Kelly’s description provided the president with some political cover, it also confirmed Wilson’s account of what the president said — and contradicted Trump, who repeatedly has accused Wilson of spreading a “totally fabricated” story.
Minutes after Trump's tweet attacking the congresswoman, he again pivoted, tweeting praise for a benefit concert for survivors of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
John Rich of the American country music duo Big & Rich was headlining the concert along with Rascal Flatts.
Thursday's show also featured remarks from Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Fox News host Sean Hannity, a friend of both Rich and Trump.
– This post contains reporting from Brian Bennett, Noah Bierman, Alex Wigglesworth and Alexandra Zavis
President Trump, still facing criticism for his administration's response to the pair of hurricanes that ravaged Puerto Rico, gave himself high marks Thursday as he met with the island's governor, Ricardo Rossello.
“I give ourselves a 10," Trump said.
At one point, Trump looked directly at Rossello, seated beside him in the Oval Office, and asked, "Did we do a great job?"
Rossello, on a delicate mission to secure aid for the U.S. territory, did not answer directly. "You responded immediately, sir," Rossello said.
"The response is there," he added. "Do we need to do a lot more? Of course we do.”
Trump has continually expressed frustration with the blame he has received for the federal government's response in Puerto Rico, where the majority of residents lack electricity. He blamed the island for many of its problems while warning of the limits of the federal government's commitment.
Re-airing campaign allegations, President Trump is pointing to an Obama-era uranium deal as the "real Russia story" in contrast to a broader inquiry into Russian meddling during the 2016 election.
Trump tweeted early Thursday that media outlets have failed to adequately cover the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company in 2010.
The agreement was reached while Hillary Clinton led the State Department, and some investors in the company had relationships with former President Bill Clinton and donated to the Clinton Foundation. But Democrats have dismissed as widely debunked any suggestion that the Clintons provided "help" in connection with the deal, as Trump claimed in one tweet:
As he attempts to push back against the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump has sought to link his former Democratic presidential rival to Russia's purchase of Uranium One. Democrats contend that Trump is seeking to deflect from the Russia inquiry and his friendly rhetoric toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has launched an investigation into a Russian nuclear bribery case after a series of stories by the Hill that showed the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear officials were involved in fraudulent dealings in 2009 before the uranium deal was approved.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump frequently cited the deal for the uranium, which is used in nuclear reactors, and has returned to the issue at rallies during his presidency. Administration officials have sought to bring attention to the transaction, which also was explored in "Clinton Cash," a 2015 book by conservative author Peter Schweizer.
Trump's most recent tweets on the topic came less than an hour after Schweizer made a brief appearance on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Senate inquiry.
Trump tagged the show's Twitter account in one of the messages.
Later Thursday, Trump repeated the claims to reporters gathered in the Oval Office.
"That's your real Russia story. Not a story where they talk about collusion and there was none. It was a hoax. Your real Russia story is uranium," Trump said during a meeting about Puerto Rico's hurricane recovery.
Clinton's State Department was one of nine U.S. government agencies that had to approve the deal. Her campaign and former State department officials said she was not involved in the approval process by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS.
In another tweet early Thursday, Trump questioned what he says is a "fake" dossier of allegations about his connections to Russia. The dossier contends the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump and was engaged in an effort to support and assist him in the 2016 election.
The political research firm behind the dossier balked this week at subpoenas from the House Intelligence Committee. "Fox & Friends" also highlighted that development Thursday morning, a short time before the president tweeted.
Media Matters For America took note of what it terms an "unusual feedback loop" between "Fox & Friends" and Trump, which the liberal watchdog group says has culminated in the show's "rare power to set the agenda for the rest of the press."
Senate Republicans were on track late Thursday to approve a 2018 budget that will increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years to allow for President Trump’s proposed tax cuts.
Passage of the GOP’s budget blueprint is a largely symbolic exercise, but it sets the stage for smoother passage of Trump’s upcoming tax cuts. It will include special instructions that allow for passage of a tax plan by a simple majority, without threat of a Senate filibuster to block it.
“I think we have the votes for the budget, which will be phase one of our massive tax cuts and reform,” Trump said at the White House. “And frankly, I think we have the votes for the tax cuts, which will follow fairly shortly thereafter.”
But the outcome was not certain, as some conservatives still object to piling onto the deficit. Many joined Congress during the rise of the tea party movement, which railed for years against rising national debt under President Obama after the Great Recession.
“The budget’s a sham,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said at a recent Koch-backed group’s gathering of wealthy donors in New York. “It has nothing to do with reality. ... It’s a tool to get to reality.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called the budget a “hoax” on Thursday.
But most Republicans argued that Trump’s tax cuts will more than cover the $1.5-trillion shortfall by spurring economic growth and leading to future tax revenues.
President Trump fired off a Saturday afternoon tweet in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie of Virginia.
The November election, one of only two off-year gubernatorial contests, is being viewed as a possible early referendum on Trump's first year in office and a preview of the 2018 midterm.
Trump's tweet came as Vice President Mike Pence was set to appear at a rally with Gillespie in Abingdon, Va., on Saturday.
Trump retweeted a message from Pence about the event.
It will be Pence's first campaign event for Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is facing Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a low-key pediatric neurologist.
Most polls have shown a close race between the two candidates.
Trump also took to Twitter last week to criticize Northam and urge voters to support Gillespie.
Northam has his own high-profile backers: former Vice President Joe Biden is due to host a roundtable discussion with the Democratic candidate in Reston, Va., on Saturday, and former President Obama is set to headline a rally for Northam in Richmond on Thursday.
President Trump defended his move to halt federal health insurance payments for millions of low-income Americans, even as he acknowledged rising costs faced under the Affordable Care Act.
Trump, in a series of tweets late Friday and into Saturday morning, appeared intent on deflecting the outpouring of concern that Americans will suffer under his executive order this week to scrap the payments.
The president had wavered for months over so-called cost-sharing reduction payments, which Republicans in Congress had long targeted in their effort to dismantle Obamacare.
Under the act, the federal government pays insurers to reduce costs of policies for lower-income Americans not covered by their employers. The payments cost about $7 billion a year.
Trump is aiming to draw Democrats eager to save Obamacare to the negotiating table. And that could happen. But healthcare providers and outside analysts warn that, in the meantime, his move likely would result in insurers pulling out of healthcare markets and leaving millions of Americans with no access to plans.
As Trump boasted on Twitter that he had sent health insurance stocks plunging, his critics questioned if he comprehended the impacts of his actions.
President Trump praised Lou Dobbs in a tweet Friday night after the Fox Business Network host said that Trump's "may be the most accomplished presidency in modern American history."
Dobbs made the comment on his show Friday night while teasing a segment on Trump's accomplishments, according to a video posted online by Mediaite.
In the segment that ensued, Dobbs applauded Trump for refusing to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, announcing an end to federal subsidies to health insurers, nominating a new Department of Homeland Security secretary and releasing a list of hard-line immigration demands as trade-offs for legislation to protect the so-called Dreamers, roughly 700,000 young people now facing possible deportation.
The federal government will cease crucial federal payments to health insurers that provide coverage to low-income Americans, the White House announced late Thursday in a move that threatens to send health insurance premiums skyrocketing for millions of Americans and destabilize markets across the country.
The surprise announcement marks the Trump administration’s most direct assault on the Affordable Care Act.
And it appears likely to spark a new high-stakes battle over the 2010 law, which President Trump has signaled he will try to roll back administratively following the collapse of multiple efforts by congressional Republicans to repeal it through legislation.
Before sunrise Friday morning, Trump went on Twitter to urge Democrats to make a deal:
The move to cut off the payments — known as cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, payments — drew swift condemnation from congressional Democrats and consumer advocates across the country.
Several states, including California, have already joined litigation in a bid to force the federal government to make the payments.
But Trump administration officials said ceasing CSR payments is necessary because government lawyers concluded they were not legal.
In a subsequent tweet, Trump slammed the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as "a broken mess" and pledged to "begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!"
Trump continued to tweet about the topic Friday night, assuring the public that his administration was in the process of dismantling Obamacare but lamenting that, in the meantime, health insurance premiums and deductibles "are way up!"
That came despite the fact that millions of Americans are likely to see their insurance premiums shoot higher as the administration intensifies its effort to scrap the 2010 healthcare law.
Insurers have said that markets in some parts of the country could collapse, leaving many consumers who don’t get insurance on the job with no choices for health plans. And state insurance regulators predicted premiums in the individual market nationally would rise by 12% to 15% next year because of the cutoff.
The payments to health insurers have been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute.
The Obama administration maintained it did not need to seek congressional approval for the payments, and since 2014 made CSR payments to lower deductibles for millions of low-income consumers.
Congressional Republicans have argued that the Obama administration should have sought congressional approval for the payments in a spending bill. Last year, a federal judge agreed with them, though the order was suspended while the case was being appealed.
The Trump administration has continued to make the payments, though the president has repeatedly threatened to cut them off, calling them a “bailout.”
That has prompted many health insurers around the country to raise premiums by double digits in 2018 to account for uncertainty over the fate of the payments.
– This post contains reporting from staff writer Noam N. Levey and the Associated Press.