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TRUMP: "Biden is destroying our country."
As criminal charges in New Yorkappeared imminent against the company he founded and ran for decades, former President Donald Trump went to Texas on Wednesday to visit an unfinished section of border wall, alongside the state's governor Greg Abbott...
TRUMP: "This wall would've been completed..."
...seeking to capitalize on Republican attacks against President Joe Biden over the rise in illegal immigration - his latest effort to regain the national spotlight as media attention on the investigation into his business empire threatened to complicate his political future and his influence in Republican politics.
Earlier, at a meeting with border patrol and law enforcement, Trump reminded Abbott of his recent endorsement...
TRUMP: "I did notice your poll numbers are through the roof."
...and dangled one in front of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is also seeking reelection.
TRUMP: "Good luck, Ken. I know you have a race, a little race coming up, eh? I'll be making an endorsement of somebody in the very near future."
Trump's visit to the U.S.-Mexico border is his second public appearance this week, after hammering Biden on immigration at a rally in Ohio on Saturday.
TRUMP ON JUNE 26, 2021: "...dismantled America's border defenses..."
But although Republicans have signaled that immigration will be a focus of their party's campaign in upcoming elections, recent Reuters/Ipsos polling suggests their attacks related to the issue are having little effect, as 19% of Republicans listed immigration as a top priority, down 10 points from April.
TRUMP: "Prisoners, murderers, human traffickers, all of these people, drug dealers, are coming back into our country."
Trump's speech at the southern border on Wednesday called to mind his first campaign announcement.
TRUMP ON JUNE 16, 2015: "They're bringing crime."
It also came a day before the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer were expected to be criminally charged, according to a source familiar with the matter.
While Trump himself was not expected to be charged, the case could interfere his plans for a possible run for the White House in 2024.