The Latest: Trump asks crowd to imagine Buttigieg against Xi

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trip to the Florida Panhandle (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is mocking potential Democratic rivals for the presidency, saying, “We’ve got some real beauties” and “Let’s just pick somebody, please, and let’s start this thing.”

Trump is adding South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) to the mix of potential rivals that have his attention. He said mockingly Wednesday at a rally in Florida that he would like to see the 37-year-old Buttigieg representing the U.S. against President Xi Jinping of China in trade talks.

He said, “Representing us against Xi in China. That will be great.”

Trump also renewed his focus on labeling former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He says, “We have a choice between Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie, and I’ll take any of them.”


8:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling supporters that Florida will get $448 million in disaster recovery funds to help it recover from Hurricane Michael last year.

At a rally Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle, Trump called for Democrats in Congress to work with the administration on other relief funding.

He says the newest funds will come through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Trump’s opposition to more hurricane aid for Puerto Rico has sparked a standoff with congressional Democrats that is blocking assistance to the island and elsewhere, including the Florida Panhandle.

Trump says, “You’re getting your money one way or another, and we’re not going to let anybody hold it up.”


4:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to view recovery efforts in the Florida Panhandle following last year’s Hurricane Michael, as well as lingering damage from the devastating Category 5 storm.

Trump on Wednesday was headed to Tyndall Air Force Base, which itself was severely affected by the hurricane, ahead of a reelection rally in nearby Panama City Beach.

The area has received about $1.1 billion in federal disaster aid through mid-April, but disagreements in Washington have left many still struggling to recover from the storm.

The campaign rally comes as Trump and congressional Democrats are locked in a bitter fight over constitutional powers related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and probes into the president’s tax returns.

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