Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visit border: Here’s what to know

PHARR — Former President Donald Trump returned to Texas on Wednesday for the first time since leaving office in January for a look at an unfinished section of the border wall near the Rio Grande and used the opportunity to fire broadsides at his successor and congressional Democrats.

“Now we have an open, more dangerous border,” Trump said to a crowd that included a long list of Republican elected officials from Texas and elsewhere. “More dangerous than it has ever been in the history of our country.

“I mean the real question is do they really want open borders or are they incompetent? That's the only two.”

Former President Donald Trump waves to his supporters at an event with Gov. Greg Abbott at the unfinished border wall in Pharr on Wednesday June 30, 2021.

The former president was invited by Gov. Greg Abbott to first listen to the concerns of Texas law enforcement officials and then to speak with the rusted bollard border fencing and oversized American and Texas flags waving about him.

In off-the-cuff remarks, Trump touched on several themes, including several long since debunked, that proved to be among the touchstones of his single term in the White House. He repeated his assertion that the Russia investigation was sparked by a hoax and that there's reason to doubt the legitimacy of last year's presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at an event at the unfinished border wall in Pharr on Wednesday June 30, 2021.

“Biden is destroying our country, and it all started with a fake election,” Trump said.

Abbott, a Republican who will seek a third term next year, has vowed to use state resources to continue work and the wall that has been halted by Biden. The governor has been harshly critical of the Democratic administration's 180-degree reversal of Trump's policies for the southern border. And at the events in South Texas, the governor continued to drive that theme as he lavished praise upon the former president.

“You see an unfinished border,” Abbott said as he gestured to the wall behind him. “This is Biden’s fault because President Biden is not continuing what President Trump began.

“Apprehensions have shot up, leading to an increase in criminals entering the country,” he added. “It is time we seal this border and close it down.”

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