President Donald Trump speaks at a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Latest: Trump takes stage at Missouri campaign rally

September 21, 2018 - 7:56 pm
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has taken the stage at a campaign rally in Missouri.

It's his second rally in as many nights.

Trump opened by telling the cheering crowd of thousands in Springfield that "our country is respected again."

He says that's because "we are finally putting America first."

The president is in Missouri to campaign for state attorney general Josh Hawley, who is challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. Trump has been campaigning aggressively to help the Senate expand its narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Trump campaigned in Las Vegas on Thursday night to help Sen. Dean Heller, the only Republican seeking re-election in a state that Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

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2:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump has signed legislation to fund the Energy Department, veterans' programs and the legislative branch, including Congress and the Capitol police.

Trump signed the measures Friday during an event at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, where he stressed his efforts to improve veterans' care.

Congress last week approved the $147 billion package as part of an effort by congressional leaders to head off a government shutdown that Trump has threatened he might force over funding for his border wall.

The bill includes money for veterans' health care, military infrastructure, the electrical grid and nuclear weapons programs.

It also provides a $1.1 billion increase to pay for efforts to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the troubled VA system. And it will require Senate candidates to file electronic campaign finance reports.

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1 a.m.

President Donald Trump is in Las Vegas stumping for Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who is in the fight of his career to keep his seat.

Trump is praising Heller as "a champion" of workers, veterans and families and says he has "no better friend."

Heller, who once said he "vehemently" opposed Trump, has now allied himself with the president.

Trump says, "We started off slow, but we ended up strong."

Heller is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, a first-term congresswoman who stands to benefit from a wave of anti-Trump activism.

Trump is mocking Rosen as "Wacky Jacky."

Trump saved Heller from a costly primary earlier this year when he persuaded Danny Tarkanian to drop out of the Senate race and instead seek a House

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