Trump calls for unity at American Legion after fiery Phoenix rally

ABC News' political team recaps Trump's comments and the latest on the USS McCain.
21:06 | 08/23/17

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Transcript for Trump calls for unity at American Legion after fiery Phoenix rally
They have president Donald Trump wrapping up his remarks. At The American Legion national convention signing an order that he hopes will improve the appeals process. For so many of our nation's veterans as well a rousing speech. Mostly off a prompter but calling for unity calling for the nation to come together and heal our divisions. The present of course coming off a fiery event last night in Phoenix hi guys I'm on in the buys in new York and we're gonna break it all down what happened in the event in case you missed it the headlines from the last 24 hours. As another big headlines we are following right here at ABC news let's bring in my colleague down in Washington DC got the dream team to. Either ABC's political director Rick Klein and Mary Bruce and I led signs right there in our figure out how you doing guys. We don't Haley have a more friend over at the Department of Defense Louis Martinez who covered the defense department for ABC highly idyllic. Funeral on the RA guide lets down bitten K rake Marion are let go read a jump in on this here at. This is pretty well is sort of president trump in him with a different phone. A different than ever marks and we've seen and they certainly over the last what if our hours really over the last week. Want to take you and what you make of his speech and how he chose to deliver that. Monday trump should meet Tuesday. Acted like we've seen every side of him in the only connective tissue is it is helping prop and and I elect. This is a return to unifying message out Monday which he'd blown to smithereens last night with. Irene meandering eat last minute speech that seemed to attack everyone including us in the news media so I feel like Hughes. He's freelancing on this deciding on its own isn't as there was in him by saying this to it it's a different tone for a different day of the week literally. And offers for different events. In any good at last night's remarks did the marks we just heard it seems a bit like whiplash in last night was without personal grievances the president defending. A lot of his recent positions especially the response to Charlottesville and today was much more about legislation and policy. An a lot of that I think. You know in part this is just the way down from operates but also out the logistics of this event are very different. Last night was huge campaign rally thousands of people we know that the president feeds off. Those crowds this is smaller and much more sort of somber tone and also the one camera isn't just a pool camera there could be. Huge gaggle of press like they are at the campaign rally so. It's part the president I think also partly. The American Legion pattern and talk about that policy and government reform and that's Spector at whereas his rally it's his fervent supporters Hitler. Eating out at sea but. The energy here was this high and the energy at the rally canceled and he didn't have to have the right unless these guys yeah it is literally the treatment it is a campaign event three years Lieberman's reelection. And it data and as soon as that Dick. Back as well as though there is this it. A day after the Afghans is that they decided he decided to do this other deliver that message you can for all of that we use doing what's interesting to end the rally last night which came after that you know somber. Really presidential remarks about me and it's now summer presidential sort of off the rails and acted somber presidential but yet last thing that strategy used the president go around after outlining. You know a new strategy and you have been a policy that you'll be mentioning that I think that mark at the media that the court. You gotten to that point he actually sort of rehash some of the reporting that's been going on. Since the events in Charlottesville the that event that's still looms so large Iran the conversations mr. trump is forced to have an that we are having. In the national media as well but just to take a look at this ready when you missed it last night this is the moment. From that Phoenix rally last night which president trump remarked on his Charlottesville cons take a look. Oh. Dishonestly. And most of you know this anyway its own right said. It passed its head on Saturday. Where clubs following developments unfolding. Weakened. Strong. This degree. Him eight. Three and I'll be making its. Related to. It got what he left out there of course what the following line which was on many sides which is the first sort of freeze that created so many headlines and controversy afterwards. So why or why he's still talking about this what does the president have to prove at this point by going back and sharing just up portion of what he said early her. That's slightly misquoted himself as well if that's selectively quoted well look I I think he sees value. In going back to the basics of what he said the original message that he feels like he's being responsive. We sought in our polls by 20% support. Four for what he said last week that's is based quarter to a third of the country. And for them they didn't like what they heard from him he can almost do no wrong and it makes a point that I think is a powerful want people that room with a lot of supporters which is. This the medium is construing that allows him to find and it. Excellent one someone's knots in the media and fine go find a way to joust against and I think that. That he's weird he personally finds the most fuel for the fire that he brings out the route. The president is again trying to bring in his own terms right in. Front of his supporters know that. You with these speeches oftentimes what we hear what the Republican establishment here at what front supporters of that room here are very different speeches. At all for those of us who work you know paying close attention the president responses a lot of revisionist history here. But to those in the room is a chance for the president look like he's sort of wrapping this debate framing it the way he wants to end its imagine giving them. A common enemy. We. Think that this does it stop any time especially now that today that we are winning out that he didn't say. That he had initially sent many sides of the size of something that's clearly has hurt him that it's not his math. Or he. Here's another thing the struggling out of the stark difference today we heard him naming some people right to thank them there in the room he thanked. Former secretary of defense. Bob gates who and I once actually said that mr. trump was unfit to be commander in chief but was in the room and he likes them now because he said nice things about he also thanked. Dean Heller. With whom we know he's shared some choice words in the past. One night and I think we have a little bit sound to play from that still. He name names but he definitely took a few swipes at some of his congressional. When members of congress actually looked. Seep we have that down take a listen to that now. But you know they all said Mr. President. Your speech was so good last night please. Please Mr. President. Don't mention any names. So I'm. I want. While it. Or. Names. Very presidential isn't very press. And nobody wants that regular and there. We. Week. Don't I would not about him. Nobody wants me to talk about him nobody knows exactly. Guys like a trivia game I think it sounds like me. Not your B could be talking about here. So what is going on here doesn't the president have to go back to Washington and tie to work with some of these guys down the road. It's a really easy to do you get it. Oh yeah it is. Soviets and the coat for the viewers having them history vanity earth. With with John McCain to second Jeff flake and Jeff lake's got a tough reelection talking of course we know is fighting for his life but diagnosed with brain cancer he cast the deciding vote on health care. I think it. I think it's dumb strategically if you're trying to actually get things done in Washington to do that this is a political maneuver. But even and that I feel like there's there's a human level since it it to not mentioning John McCain talk Madonna in it surprises me keep in mind John McCain is very ill. He is of Lott's statement that is the Republican Party in Arizona and beyond. And it. The name city all of his father grandfather the John S McCain was just involved in an awful tragic incident that involved the death of cells are members he admitted that he that the warns John McCain. Did not escape his lips in the only way he brought up was on the side to meet. An incredibly fearless political the president is playing your book he needs their vote and you just look at face value here Republicans don't have that big a margin in the senate the president needs everybody can get to get anything done. And here he is you know. At name calling without name calling. Two very important senators whose vote he needs although it does not sit well with a lot of Republicans up on Capitol Hill it's just not something he do you know. When you take a big picture look at this you're a Republican president calling out an incumbent vulnerable. Republican senator. Usually presidents are trying to keep seats in the senate in their own party not right at. Ultimately it could it. Lake ends up losing its area there is reason to cut back office cock and jeopardize them into it which Donald Trump to keep as many Republicans. Today he saw him on Twitter he went ahead and attacked justly biting fighting an AF. Oh yeah and it. He's not he's not a Republican it was a Republican Vicky declaring his own independence the wrong way in and he's striking out as only he successfully defeating Catholic and he's successful in turning people against John McCain. He shows that different kind of personal hour it seems like it's much more about that personal color than any party power controls congress. And one other thing about backed Clinton but it is interesting that the president. Milt that he needs don't want him to comply with several things in his speech that the president you know aids advised against it and it goes out there. Does it anyway. Flying in the face of all of their reckoning. I mean this is out. But you guys raise interesting point I think a lot of people might have expected him to mention. The USS McCain it's something he hasn't talked about there yet I want to bring in our colleague Louis Martinez now because really there some updates. To that crash obviously that was a guided missile destroyer the collided with that commercial vessel on Monday and they are still sailors missing what is the latest. We if that investigation. On the latest is that the search continues. Inside the debris field inside the sealed can can compartments. The destroyer. There were four. Shipping berths those aware of sleeping quarters where sailors or sleeping when the time of the impact yet on Monday when this occurred. And the ebitda divers have been searching all morning. And we expect some kind of an update maybe over the next 24 hour yourself about the progress that they're making. This search continues at C. You there was initial collision site that was just east of Singapore. There was an expansion on the search area that it occurred earlier today as well. I'll bet to the search area they're being. Search by helicopters from the United States. An amphibious ship in the USS America it's also in Singapore as well as aircraft. And shipped from the Singapore and Malaysian needy. I so he's a big effort under way to try to find those survive and those missing sailors and missing sailors. Some of whose or means that were found yesterday inside. The compartments in which they were sleeping. And as a very tragic situation and and the big development overnight. Of course was the firing. The three star admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet that set by several Jews have for calling. He is the admiral who supervises the entire Pacific and the seventh fleet area. A lot of large aerial operations. Particularly around Japan around South Korea. Down in the South China Sea a lot of ship activity there and so he was fired by the head of the Pacific fleet. Pain because of a loss of confidence because he. FitzGerald and the McCain incidents for the ones that have garnered the most attention. But earlier this year there were two other cleans it C one involving a South Korean fishing vessel in the sense he Japan. And another was a cruiser that ran aground off the coast of Japan when you have four incidents like that. Under one individuals command it's gunnery Israeli flags and unfortunately for rice and calling that meant that he was relieved of his command very rare event. For an officer of his rank. Through that stage two could go through something like that. And further so because he was already slated to be tired on next month. For the navy sending a very strong message here that they want accountability and they want to make sure. That anything that happens to their theaters sailors from under Webber's command. That that individual will be held account. We have very rare event as he mentioned that terrible tragedy which makes it all the more striking it wasn't mentioned yet. By president trump back toward team over in the DC bureau one thing the president did talk about. Almost at the same time is rich he's mentioned -- than 24 hours about healing our divisions and and moving together united that the country. Was a threat to literally shut down the government if he had to I think we have that little bit of sound. We'll talk about it on the back and this is play that they'll quit this is president jump. From last night in Phoenix. And we are building a wall. On the southern border which is absolutely passes. An outlaw. Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it but believe me we have to close down our government we're building that wall. Let it be very clear. Do Democrats in congress. Who oppose a bottle all and stand in the way of border security. You are putting all of America is safety at risk you doing that you're doing that. Again the Border. Patrol today I said how important is the wall to some of the folks are met with a lot. They looked at me they said it's. It's vital. It's so vital. I think you hear president trump speaking from last night we just heard him speak now in Reno it really is. Like two different strong. It is and and it's not a trump I think that's going to be received well let me right back in Washington that's not the party line in that does not appetite and even if there's one thing there's there's this there's a sense you need Democrats to go along with funding bill and holding all of government for one priority like that by the way when the president in Mexico or not actors. Shutting down the government over funding for a while is something that Republicans Republican leaders fundamentally disagree on just a few minutes ago speaker Ryan was taking questions out on a trip on the West Coast and he said he doesn't addition down is necessary and it doesn't think definitely an appetite. For that most Republicans are going to be coming back. To capital in two weeks facing very daunting to do list first of I have to. Deal the debt ceiling. Deal with government funding before that you get to any other priorities the eighteen we're going to try or bad up over funding for the president's while. Gonna fly on Capitol Hill but you know Rick if you are part about earlier the president. Does have veto powers yeah serious about this he could really take this to the brink but again would be linked to act by the public. Exactly and Republican leadership certainly probably not going to be happy about east. And remember they are all here a few years ago when the government shut down last time the president trump. Wasn't he was in the private sectors as they still remember he had. Criticism atheist when that happened last time around or not can be fair especially if they're heading into that turns coming up next here that's right yeah over so yeah well at that time there was a democratic president democratic senate and still mobile and sold most of the little plane ended up. We doing okay in the mid terms and in bounced back but that was not a good look left and it's bad for everybody it's really bad when you actually control of government. What's the blatant the democratically want this house speaker's Republican senatorial it is all the Republican president. That's been noting they have been taking steps to boost funding for border security going through other you know means to do that but but at government shut down. That's not apply it. Not good luck it's not a headline at all on cape liberty at the formula to go when asked about one other surgery been tracking on the heels of the president's announcement and address to the nation the other night about the new strategy in the new plan in the comments on restarting to learn look at the details. About what that might look like and when troops could start to move then what do we know about that. Well the first clue we got was from Knight general we'll tell he's the head of the US central command and which oversees all US forces in the Middle East. He's traveling in a region yesterday told reporters that you can expect to see it and see some new additional forces in Afghanistan over coming days if not weeks. We we also talked traditional officials have told us that Defense Secretary Mattis is reviewing the numbers of a traditional forces that might be headed over to Afghanistan. Vice president pence yesterday and gave official confirmation to the 3900 number that we've been reporting now. For awhile that we had been your original pentagon recommendation that recommendation coming June. Now secretary Mattis reviewing. Those numbers and kidney could be even higher. And speaking of higher working now learned that. Even though heated topic talking about this 8400 number of American forces inside Afghanistan. US official telling us that yes the area are backed 121000. American troops there in Afghanistan. It's all because of you counting. These forces argument they're less than three to six months they don't get counted under the official cap level that was put in place by President Obama last year. So that is something that if they are now taking into account as well say recognizing that now that he has a Fuller idea of how many troops are actually there inside Afghanistan. He can determine how many additional troops he could sending her to plug the gaps as he as he called it. So that he came. Expand the training mission. And provide the additional combat air power which the Afghans are requesting. I so that's what we're looking for it now so it might be additional development sometime this week if not early next week. Where we finally get the word yes depending on has given me official. Orders through these additional troops to head to Afghanistan. But as for now. More reviewing. The actual process and the numbers. The capabilities. And when they might get. Apparently Martinez at the Pentagon for us hey Rick Mary and are let the pilot to go. Waits trump are we going to see next to goes back to DC to receive Ascap obstructionist Democrats baking news trump or a unity and healing for. It's the third option could like people like all its third day of the week I feel like over duke a different version. I hate isn't using a president is taking his own political destiny his own hands if this isn't about antlers and if there's nobody influence in which we covered a lot in recent weeks it's Karen Lucci out in three days out in spice route in. Ben and out at all. This is dropping from this distraught saying I get it I know my own instincts on these things when it tailor the message to it that day of the week and no that I can. Move my supporters along with it seems like you're gonna get her front wakes up and I want today. Oh surprising no mistake right the president news what he's doing there is some kind of strategy here whether. Eat the topic I know that strategy is another question but he's leading niche using. All right pilot signs Rick Klein and Mary Ruth thinks for being with us back a look at the -- AM. Thanks Emily thank you and thanks to all of you for watching as well remember you can go to Any time. For continuing coverage on all of those stories and many more for now I'm on an Abbas. And I'll see you back here since.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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