August 22, 2017 14:21 GMT by

Trump set to hold campaign rally in Phoenix

President Donald Trump is trying to turn the page on a disastrous week in which his comments responding to white supremacists' actions in Charlottesville, Virginia, were condemned across the political spectrum by all but his adoring base.

So he is heading west Tuesday to revel in the cheers of thousands of those core supporters.
Less than 24 hours after delivering a primetime speech outlining his Afghanistan strategy, Trump will hold a campaign rally in Phoenix.
In anticipation of Trump's trip, the political world was buzzing about not just whether the President would set off controversy in Phoenix -- but which specific hot-button clash he could wade into.
Will Trump pardon Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of contempt by a federal judge last month in a case that stemmed from racial profiling allegations?
Could he endorse Kelli Ward or another Republican challenger to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who recently wrote a book decrying Trump's corrupting influence on the party?
Might Trump lead chants of "build the wall," returning to the animating promise of his 2016 campaign at a time members of Congress are facing an end-of-September deadline to fund the government while knowing that including any money for a border wall could cost them votes?
Or will Tuesday night bring a combination of those -- or something else entirely?
Trump's arrival at the Phoenix Convention Center will be greeted by mass protests from progressive and anti-bigotry groups.
Democrats in Arizona, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, are lambasting Trump for even visiting the state -- particularly for a campaign rally.
Trump's unpredictable and bombastic style "makes us worry that he will come here and make things worse, not better," said Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat.
"President Trump does not know how to be a unifier -- does not know how to ease the pain of this country like we saw George Bush do after 9/11," Gallego said Monday.
Jevin Hodge, the vice chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, said Trump's "racially inflamed rhetoric is not welcome here in Arizona and is not what this country needs at this time."
While Trump allies like Arpaio and Ward are likely to be on hand, some of Arizona's top Republicans -- including Flake and Sen. John McCain, who is undergoing cancer treatment -- will not be on hand Tuesday night.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican who is up for re-election in 2018, will greet Trump on the tarmac when he lands Tuesday afternoon but will not attend the rally, his office said.
"Gov. Ducey's focus has been working with law enforcement toward a safe event in downtown Phoenix for all those involved and in the area. That will continue to be his priority during the event and afterwards," Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told The Arizona Republic.
Flake -- who took on Trump in a new book, "Conscience of a Conservative" -- wouldn't respond Monday morning after an East Valley Chambers of Commerce breakfast to questions about Trump's tweet last week that Flake is "a non-factor in the Senate" and "toxic!"
"I don't worry about it at all," Flake said.
Flake also wouldn't directly answer questions about whether Trump is right to seemingly endorse his primary challenger in his 2018 re-election bid. Trump, who has long criticized Flake and mused last year about spending $10 million of his own money to unseat him, praised Ward, a conservative former state senator who is already running against Flake, in a tweet last week.
Trump's tweet said it is "great to see" that she is running against Flake.
"That's not my realm. That's somebody else's," Flake said. "I just -- I'm running my own campaign. It's going well. And what the President does, that's his prerogative."
Flake also wouldn't say whether Trump should pardon Arpaio. "That's his choice to make," Flake said.
This story has been updated.