RENO, Nev. — A day after a searing speech tearing into the media and members of his own political party, President Trump returned to calls for unity and love as he spoke to veterans Wednesday at an American Legion conference.
‘‘We are here to hold you up as an example of strength, courage, and resolve that our country will need to overcome the many challenges that we face,’’ Trump told veterans, speaking in measured tones and adhering to his prepared remarks. He said all Americans must learn the same work ethic, patriotism and devotion as veterans.
The messaging zig-zag appears to reflect the president’s real-time internal debate between calls for moderation and his inclination to let loose. Trump had opened his Tuesday rally in Phoenix much the same way — but quickly erupted in anger, blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to violence at a Charlottesville, Va., protest organized by white supremacists.
At the Phoenix rally, he read from his three responses to the racially charged violence, becoming more animated with each one. He withdrew from his suit pocket the written statement he’d read the day a woman was killed by a man who’d plowed a car through counter-protesters, but he skipped over the trouble-causing part that he’d freelanced at the time: his observation that ‘‘many sides’’ were to blame.
That, as well as his reiteration days later that ‘‘both sides’’ were to blame for the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer and two state troopers, led Democrats and many Republicans to denounce Trump for not unmistakably calling out white supremacists and other hate groups.
The president awoke Wednesday still thinking about the rally, as evidenced by his Twitter account. ‘‘Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn’t cover fairly,’’ he wrote. ‘‘People got it!’’
By the time he arrived at the American Legion conference, Trump seemed more congenial. He even thanked Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican with whom he has openly and repeatedly feuded. He discussed his early efforts to restructure and improve the Veterans Administration.
Later in the speech, Trump said Americans aren’t defined by the color of their skin, the size of their paycheck or their political party.
‘‘Our hearts beat for America. Our souls fill with pride every time we hear the national anthem,’’ Trump said. ‘‘This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges.’’
Markey: Tougher N. Korea sanctions
WASHINGTON — Senator Ed Markey wants to see tougher sanctions on North Korea aimed at bringing the rogue nation to talks with the United States.
“I appreciate China’s support for the latest rounds of sanctions,” said Markey, speaking from a military base in Japan after a tour of Asia with other members of Congress. “I still don’t think it goes far enough.”
Markey’s trip included a visit to the China-North Korea border, where he witnessed a truckload of fuel heading to North Korea. Fuel imports are among the goods that still can be imported to North Korea under the current rules.
Markey, who is the top Democrat on a Senate foreign relations panel that oversees Asia, is in the final stretch of a congressional trip to the region that included stops in Japan and South Korea, where he met with President Moon Jae-in.
The trip comes amid a rocky period for US relations with North Korea, which has angered the United States with a series of missile tests. In the past few weeks threats of military action have been issued by both North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un and President Trump. At one point Trump seemed to threaten nuclear war by warning that North Korea could see “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
That kind of language has caused deep concerns in the area, Markey said.
“They do not want a second Korean war to be fought,” Markey said after meeting with regional leaders. “And they want for there to be a diplomatic resolution to the issue.”
However, they’re also worried about crossing Trump, Markey said. “The leaders have decided to not publicly criticize President Trump,” Markey said.
Instead, Markey said Asian leaders are taking their cues from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been less bombastic.
Clinton says Trump made her skin crawl
In her most detailed public comments about what happened during the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said her ‘‘skin crawled’’ as Donald Trump loomed behind her on the stage in St. Louis last October.
The comments are included in her new book, ‘‘What Happened,’’ which she called an attempt to ‘‘pull back the curtain’’ on her losing bid for the presidency.
The book comes out Sept. 12, but audio excerpts, read by Clinton herself, were played on MSNBC Wednesday morning.
In the recording, Clinton noted that she wrote about moments from the campaign that she wanted to remember forever — as well as others she wished she could ‘‘go back and do over.’’