DULUTH, Minn. (KMSP) - President Donald Trump hit on all the expected topics at a rally in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday evening, speaking about his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, touting economic growth and returning to hardline immigration rhetoric in front of a sold-out crowd at Amsoil Arena.
Earlier in the day, Trump signed an executive order that halted his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents after illegally crossing the border, but just hours later said to supporters, "We're going to keep families together, but the border's going to be just as tough as it's been."
The economy was also a large theme in the President's speech, as he repeatedly touted low unemployment numbers and the administration's focus on cutting regulations. He's hoping that a strong economy and a newly thriving Iron Range will help swing Minnesota's eighth congressional district red, and repeatedly mentioned the Republican candidate for that seat, Pete Stauber.
"And finally, the person we're all here to see tonight ... the great Pete Stauber," Trump said in his opening remarks. "We are protecting the the steel and aluminum industry [in that district], and most importantly our miners."
Railing against the news media for its coverage of his summit in Singapore with Kim Jong Un, Trump repeatedly praised Kim for his leadership and said, "Chairman Kim will turn that country into a great, successful country."
In addition, he said North Korea has shipped back remains from 200 service members who were killed in the Korean War and that Kim is committed to denuclearization.
Before the event, President Trump said he was "putting America first" during a roundtable discussion at Duluth's Cargo Connect with local Republican leaders and representatives from the mining industry. He touted an Iron Range whose economy is on the rebound after years of hard times, and many even thanked Trump for his efforts--which they believe have been responsible for the area's resurgence.
“We have some of the cleanest water, lakes, streams and rivers in the USA. And we’ve been mining here for 100 years," said St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson at the roundtable event. "So Mr President, when you get back inside that Beltway out there, stay on top of those regulations. Get them off our backs even more and I promise you this Iron Range will make this country proud.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.