President Trump hosts Montana rally

By Veronica Rocha and Meg Wagner, CNN
9:12 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018
7:51 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump didn't mention Scott Pruitt during the rally

Just before his rally in Montana, President Trump tweeted that his Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned after months of ethics controversies.

The President addressed the resignation while speaking to reporters on his way to Montana — but he didn't mention Pruitt or his controversies during the rally itself. Instead, Trump talked about his upcoming meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin, next week's NATO summit and how he'd like Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prove her heritage, among other topics.

On board Air Force One on his way to the rally, Trump said it was Pruitt's decision to resign.

“He did not want to be a distraction," Trump said. "And I think Scott felt like he was a distraction.”
7:45 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump says ICE protects us and "we protect them"

From CNN's Maeve Reston

Taking on the recent calls from Democrats to abolish US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the midst of the family separation crisis at the border, President Trump promised to protect ICE.

“They protect us and we protect them,” he said of the agency. 

The administration has faced intense scrutiny after over the separation of undocumented parents and children. Trump went on to sign an executive order aimed at keeping families together at the border, but some Democrats went further and have begun demanding the dismantling of ICE. 

7:35 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump attacks Jon Tester, says Montana deserves a senator who votes like a Montanan

From CNN's Maeve Reston

President Trump launched a sweeping attack on Sen. Jon Tester’s record during his visit to Great Falls, arguing that the Montana Democrat has been a loyal soldier for the Democratic Party in Washington, despite his claims of centrism and bipartisanship.

Trump argued that Tester says “one thing in Washington” and then comes home to Montana and pretends to be a centrist who sometimes supports the President’s agenda. He said he would rather have had Tester’s votes than his compliments.  

He lavished praise on Tester’s opponent, Matt Rosendale — who appeared with Trump briefly on stage — as a “really good man.” He also complimented Rosendale, former real estate broker who moved to Montana in 2002, for surviving a tough Republican primary.  

In one of his most pointed attacks, Trump said Tester voted no on a bill that would have banned late-term abortions: “You wouldn’t think it would play very well out here.” 

“You deserve a senator who actually votes like he’s from Montana,” the President said.

The President got some of his biggest cheers with his critiques of Tester’s votes on immigration, drawing boos for the Montana Democrat when he said he voted against the travel ban and against the “vetting of refugees from terror stricken countries.”

8:41 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump challenged Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prove her Native American heritage

President Trump, speaking at a rally in Montana, challenged Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prove her Native American heritage.

"We will say, 'I will give you $1 million to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you are an Indian and let's see what she does," the President told the crowd. "I have a feeling she will say no."

The Massachusetts senator has been a biting critic of Trump for some time. Trump has responded by repeatedly trying to belittle her as "Pocahontas."

Warren says she is Native American and points to "family stories" passed down to her through generations as evidence. One genealogist, following Warren’s account, traced her Native American heritage to the late 19th century, which, if true, would make her 1/32 Native American. (However, the legitimacy of those findings has been debated.)

During the rally, Trump described a debate strategy against Warren that involved tossing a boxed DNA test at her.

He made reference to the MeToo movement saying: “It’s the ‘MeToo generation’ so we have to be very gentle."

Warren later responded to Trump's remarks over her heritage on Twitter, saying that he should "focus on fixing the lives" that he's destroying.

7:14 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump on Putin meeting: "I've been preparing for this stuff my whole life"

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump, referring to critics who questioned on readiness for his Kim Jong Un summit, said he'll be "totally prepared" for his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At a rally in Greats Falls, Montana, Trump said...

“Now they're saying it with Putin. 'Well Putin is highly prepared. And Trump, will he be prepared for the meeting?' Trust me, we'll be just fine. Fake news. Bad people. Will he be prepared? Will he be prepared? And I might even end up having a good relationship. But they're going 'will President Trump be prepared? You know, President Putin is KGB.' And this and that. You know what? Putin's fine. He's fine. We're all fine. We're people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I've been preparing for this stuff my whole life. They don't say that.”

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.

7:00 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump: Getting along with Russia "is a good thing"

President Trump just mentioned his upcoming one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I am meeting with President Putin next week and getting along — let me tell you, getting along with Russia and getting along with China and getting along with other countries is a good thing. It's not a bad thing. It's a good thing.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.

6:59 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump says he'll tell NATO: "You've got to start paying your bills"

President Trump is going to a NATO meeting in Brussels, Belgium, next week.

Tonight, he told his supporters what he's planning to do at the meeting.

"I am going to tell NATO, you've got to start paying your bills," the President said. "The United States is not going to take care of everything."

Trump sent letters to the leaders of NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada, demanding that they increase their defense spending and threatening to alter the US global military presence if they do not, according to a report in theNew York Times on Monday.

The letters were sent last month, according to the Times, before a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, next week.

8:03 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

Trump tells crowd to tune in Monday night for Supreme Court pick

President Trump teased his Supreme Court pick announcement at tonight's rally in Montana.

"If you tune in Monday at 9 o'clock, I think you are going to be extremely happy," he told the crowd. 

"And they are all great. They are all great," Trump said referring to his list of candidates.

Trump again thanked retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for his service, saying the jurist "had confidence in me."

"He left because he said, 'You're going to pick somebody great and so nice, so nice,'" Trump said. "A great man, a great gentleman."

6:39 p.m. ET, July 5, 2018

President Trump urges supporters to vote against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester

President Trump stood alongside Republican state auditor Matt Rosendale, who's running against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

Trump is backing Rosendale, whom he called "a real Montana fighter."

"It's time to retire liberal Democrat Jon Tester," Trump said.

He continued: “A vote for Jon Tester is a vote for Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the new leader of the Democrat party, Maxine Waters.”