Trump, on trip with GOP, slams 'sick' state of US-Mexico border

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE on Wednesday bemoaned what he said was the "sick" state of the U.S.-Mexico border during a trip to Texas with GOP lawmakers.

"We have a sick country in many ways. It's sick in elections, and it's sick in the border. And if you don't have good elections, and if you don't have a strong border, you don't have a country," Trump said during a roundtable event with Texas state leaders and law enforcement officials.

"So with that, we're going over to the border right now. But we're going to the real part of the border where there's real problems, not a part where you look around and don't see anybody," Trump added, an apparent swipe at Vice President Harris's recent trip to El Paso, Texas, where she visited with border agents and saw a border crossing facility.

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Trump was accompanied by several of his former administration officials who focused on immigration, including senior aide Stephen MillerStephen MillerDefense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle How Trump broke the system that offers protection to Afghan allies Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K MORE, former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfSunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan The border is shifting from a manufactured crisis to a national embarrassment MORE, former acting Customs and Border Protection head Mark Morgan, former acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan, and former White House physician and current Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas).

The president looked on with his arms folded as Texas sheriffs reviewed data on increased border crossings earlier this year compared with the same time last year as well as their findings on the spread of drugs such as fentanyl coming into the U.S. via cartels.

Trump made the trip with the intent of highlighting the differences between his own policies that restricted legal and illegal immigration and those of the Biden administration. Conservatives have blamed the current administration's policies for the surge in migrants coming to the southern border this year.

The former president was joined by GOP House lawmakers, many of whom toured the border upon their arrival on Tuesday and met with migrants who made the journey to the U.S.

The president's remarks at the roundtable echoed many of his usual riffs from when he was on the campaign trail or had access to social media.

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He chastised Democrats for accusing Republicans who opposed an economic relief package that included funding for law enforcement of trying to defund the police, and he singled out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.) in particular.

He complained about the security of elections, building on months of false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent, and he mused that President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE would not be able to pass a basic cognitive exam given by White House doctors.

"What we’ve done was appreciated by the people," Trump said. "And we better get our elections straightened out because you’re going to have a runaway country. You’re going to have a banana republic. You’re going to have a Third World country here pretty soon."