2. Inside "The Beast" before Trump's El Paso rally
President Trump and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in Trump's limo, "The Beast." Photo via Mark Loeffler, Miller’s communications director
In El Paso on Monday night, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R) rode with President Trump in "The Beast," the president's heavily armored Cadillac.
What happened: Miller says Trump was "upset" that the city’s Republican mayor, Dee Margo, publicly contradicted him on the success of El Paso’s border wall. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were also on the ride from Air Force One to the rally.
According to Miller, this exchange occurred:
- Miller said he told Trump to shake it off, because "they [the city of El Paso] pad the books," suggesting that the city underreports crime rates. (Axios has found no evidence of that.)
- Trump replied: "You mean like fake news?"
- Miller said: "Yeah! It was the first fake news."
- Trump: "Can I say that [at the rally]?"
- Miller: "Yeah!"
- The lieutenant governor then chimed in: "No, no. You probably shouldn't." Trump didn't.
Miller said that after arriving, the president approached the mayor and "they had a few words": "It was cordial, but he got right in his face a little bit. I wasn't close enough to hear, but they were within six inches of eyesight of each other."
- Olivia Zepeda, Margo's chief of staff, told Axios: "There was no confrontation between the mayor and the president. They shook hands and greeted each other, and that was the extent of their encounter."
- The White House didn't respond for the record. The lieutenant governor and attorney general also didn't respond.