City officials said they were not informed beforehand by Trump's team of his imminent arrival.
Donald Trump traveled to the border town of Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday to break his nearly weeklong silence after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 — and didn't inform the town he and possibly his followers would be visiting.
Alamo is a town of approximately 19,000 located in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Hidalgo County (and is not the Alamo, the historical site of the Battle of the Alamo, located in San Antonio.)
According to a statement released Tuesday by Alamo's city manager, Robert Salinas, the city was not informed beforehand by Trump's team of his imminent arrival.
"Information is being circulated that appears to indicate that President Trump will be making his way to the City of Alamo during his visit to the Rio Grande Valley," Salinas wrote. "The City of Alamo's City Commission and and City Administration has NOT been officially contacted regarding this visit, and therefore have NO DETAILS regarding his itinerary. ... Regarding any potential protests or support for the President, we ask that all demonstrations are peaceful and respectful towards our law enforcement personnel and our surrounding communities."
The primary intention of his visit seemed to be to showcase a segment of the border wall between the United States and Mexico built under his administration, and to promote his yearslong campaign against illegal immigration.
During his campaign for the presidency, Trump promised to build a 1,000-mile border wall and make Mexico pay for it. In reality, only 453 miles have been completed in the past few years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters. Most is reconstruction of previously erected barriers, and only 80 miles of the wall consist of completely new primary or secondary barrier construction.
As Trump left for his trip to the Rio Grande Valley, he defended his response to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6.
"People thought that what I said was totally appropriate," Trump told reporters.
Trump called the move to impeach him for a second time "absolutely ridiculous" and a "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics."
Some Texas officials feared his visit could stoke violence.
Richard Cortez, a Hidalgo County judge, said, "Passions are running dangerously high among supporters and opponents of President Trump. I urge both sides to keep those passions in check, because ultimately the Rio Grande Valley has a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the world that peaceful public discourse is far more effective than public violence."
And James Darling, the mayor of McAllen, Texas, a town that borders Alamo, urged demonstrators to remain peaceful as well.
"I understand that emotions are high on both sides, for or against, the President and I hope that if there are demonstrations for or against, that they are peaceful with respect to our law enforcement personnel," Darling said in a statement posted to Twitter.
In the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, the Hidalgo County GOP issued a statement on Facebook calling on "Conservatives, Patriots, & Freedom Fighters" to create posters and meet in Alamo "to Welcome Our Commander in Chief with flags, signs, and posters."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.