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Donald Trump dumps on LAX, but L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti defends airport upgrades

The sentence structure was a mess, but it was clear during Monday’s presidential debate that when Republican nominee Donald Trump mentioned Los Angeles International Airport, he was not paying the facility a compliment.

“You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible — you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, and you land — we’ve become a third-world country.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shot back this week, saying LAX is undergoing billions of dollars in upgrades.

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In fact, Garcetti took part at a ceremony Thursday to open a $148-million facility that connects the Tom Bradley International Terminal to the terminals on the south side of the airport.

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“If Donald Trump wasn’t jetting around the world on a private plane — or had ever walked through our terminals like the tens of millions who fly in and out of our airport every year — he might know about the largest public works program in the history of Los Angeles: the $14 billion we are spending to modernize LAX by connecting it to rail, building a brand new rental car facility and renovating eight out of the airport’s nine terminals,” the mayor said.

“The comment is just another example of Donald Trump throwing around wild insults without regard for facts.”

Garcetti already has endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.

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