- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign announced Friday that he will hold a rally in Montana about two months after promising that Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester would “have a big price to pay” for his role in sinking Trump’s Veterans Affairs nominee.

Trump’s campaign said in a statement that the president will speak about tax cuts, illegal immigration and other topics at the rally at 4 p.m. Thursday at Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.

“The President will also remind Montanans of the importance of electing more Republicans to the Senate this fall to keep his America First policies and the momentum of our booming economy going strong,” Michael Glassner said, the chief operating officer for the Trump campaign.

The statement didn’t specifically mention Tester’s run for re-election against Republican candidate Matt Rosendale. Tester angered the president earlier this year by releasing allegations the derailed the nomination of Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, Trump’s first choice to run the Veterans Affairs Department.

“I think Jon Tester has to have a big price to pay in Montana because … (Jackson) is the kind of person that they respect and admire and they don’t like seeing what’s happened to him,” Trump said in an interview at the end of April.

Trump’s attention to the Montana Senate race unleashed millions of dollars in spending by outside groups attempting to influence the election and added pressure to Tester’s campaign for a third term.

Tester campaign spokesman Chris Meagher said Tester has invited Trump to the state several times to talk about issues important to its residents.

“Unfortunately, it looks like this will turn out to be a partisan attack, rather than a real opportunity to discuss real issues facing Montanans - like better infrastructure, schools, holding the VA accountable, or the Farm Bill,” Meagher said.

The Rosendale campaign released a statement welcoming Trump.

“The President has made winning this race a top priority because we need to end Jon Tester’s liberal obstruction and pass the Trump agenda,” Rosendale said in the statement.

Trump last visited Montana as a candidate in 2016, when he held a campaign rally in Billings. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., railed against Tester last week at the state Republican Party convention in Billings.


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