White House says Trump is not campaigning in Pa. — despite his tweet

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The White House says that, despite the president’s tweet, he is not going to Pennsylvania Thursday to campaign for a congressional candidate there.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier that he was headed to the state “to give my total support” to Rick Saccone, a Republican running in a special election.

Now press secretary Sarah Sanders says the purpose of the visit is actually to promote Trump’s agenda, especially the Republican tax overhaul.

Sanders sent out a statement noting that Trump supports GOP candidates across the U.S.

Trump’s visit to the H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania has been billed as an official event, rather than a campaign stop. A campaign event which would require that taxpayers be reimbursed for some of the expenses.


8:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump is offering enthusiastic support for a Republican congressional candidate in Pennsylvania. Trump’s headed there today.

The president tweets Thursday: “Will be going to Pennsylvania today in order to give my total support to RICK SACCONE, running for Congress in a Special Election (March 13). Rick is a great guy. We need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda!”

The president is heading to southwestern Pennsylvania to talk about his tax overhaul. The White House says Saccone will greet the president at the airport and attend Trump’s tour of a local factory. But Trump is not expected to mention Saccone in his remarks.

Trump’s event also is in the Pittsburgh-area district where Saccone is running. The special election there is March 13.

—This story has been corrected to show that Trump’s event is inside the district where the special election will be held; an earlier version said it was not.


12:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump is tiptoeing around the first congressional election of 2018 as he heads to Pennsylvania to hail the recently enacted tax cuts.

Trump is set to appear with the Republican nominee for a Pittsburgh-area House seat being decided in March. But the White House says Trump doesn’t plan to mention candidate Rick Saccone in his remarks.

And the event isn’t actually in the congressional district being contested.

Democrats aren’t necessarily any more confident in the chances that lawyer and former Marine Conor Lamb can pull off an upset in a district Trump won by almost 20 points.

The handling of the race shows both sides’ reluctance to put too much emphasis on one contest amid the high stakes of this midterm election year.