In his first public appearance since Capitol riot, Trump visits Texas border to tout wall construction

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President Donald Trump arrives at Valley International Airport in Harlingen on Jan. 12, 2021. Credit: Jason Garza for The Texas Tribune

HARLINGEN — Less than a week after chaos engulfed the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump visited the Texas-Mexico border to tout another controversial hallmark of his four years in office – the border wall that he initially promised Mexico would pay for.

It was his first public appearance since the Wednesday rally that immediately preceded a riot in which throngs of his supporters invaded the Capitol as Congress was certifying president-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory. The visit to the Rio Grande Valley drew concern from border lawmakers and activists who said the events of last week were still too fresh.

But hundreds of the president’s supporters cheered his arrival at the Harlingen airport as other members of so-called “Trump trains” roared past with massive American and Trump flags flying on their pickup trucks.