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Why El Paso residents felt ‘deeply divided’ about Trump’s visit

President Trump visited grieving El Paso Wednesday. An “El Paso Strong” rally was held to coincide with his arrival -- and protest his rhetoric on race and immigration. Judy Woodruff talks to Dan Bush, reporting from El Paso, about the mood in the “deeply divided” city, how residents felt about the president’s visit, Trump’s agenda while in town and what Sen. Ted Cruz said on the somber occasion.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And we stay in El Paso, where the president is still visiting with victims and with survivors.

    Our Dan Bush is there. And he joins me now.

    So, Dan, you have been there all day. You have been talking to people.

    Tell us what people are saying about the president's visit, how they're doing. How are they doing today?

  • Daniel Bush:

    Well, it's a deeply divided city, Judy, as we just heard from the previous guests.

    There's a lot of anger here in the El Paso community directed at President Trump. And in what is still a conservative state, it was hard to find Republicans in downtown El Paso today who were willing to say, yes, we want President Trump here, we want to hear what he has to say.

    But I did speak with one person who gave a different perspective and said he was a Trump supporter, he didn't always agree with what the president has to say, he did want him here. And the man also said that he was open to some gun control measures because of what happened here in El Paso.

    So while it is a divided city, people are trying to find some common ground, in some areas at least.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, Dan, we didn't know ahead of time what the president was going to be doing or very much about it, what he was going to be doing in El Paso.

    What do we know now about his plans while he's there?

  • Daniel Bush:

    So, President Trump arrived here a little while ago. He was greeted at the airport by the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, the state's two U.S. senators, and some others.

    The president didn't speak to reporters. He looked very solemn as he got into a motorcade with the first lady and headed into the city. We know he went to University Hospital, Judy, where he met with victims and some of their families and first responders as well.

    We did see, in the air, en route to Texas, President Trump spar with Democratic officials there over the way they portrayed his visit. So we're waiting to see what will come out of this, but already, as we're seeing, divisions are very high.

    And I did have a chance to speak with Senator Cruz briefly as President Trump left for the hospital. And I asked Senator Cruz what he wanted the president to say. And he said: Listen, this is a moment of unity.

    But Ted Cruz also said both sides need to tamp the rhetoric down. So, we will see if that happens.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    All right, Dan Bush reporting for us again today from El Paso, thank you, Dan.

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