Trump, Unafraid to Cross the Line, Takes His Pulpit to the Border

NYT FDMaggie Haberman 7/23/2015

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Good Thursday morning from Washington, where the Senate is set to discuss Iran, and President Obama is packing for Kenya with plans to do the same. And as Donald J. Trump prepares to speak at an event near the Mexican border, the cameras will be watching. And so will his rivals.

“I wonder what he’s going to say next.”

It’s a phrase that is most often used to describe provocative radio hosts like Howard Stern. These days, it is frequently heard with respect to Mr. Trump, the reality television star and Republican presidential hopeful whose caustic comments and surging support in opinion polls have kept the cameras focused on him.

Mr. Trump’s latest provocation will most likely come in a trip to the border in Laredo, Tex., on Thursday. According to a schedule released by his campaign, Mr. Trump will “travel to the actual border” and “address the media.” Then he will meet with law enforcement officials at a nearby reception hall.

The trip will fall two days after Mr. Trump, on a stage in South Carolina, held up an index card with Senator Lindsey Graham’s cellphone number on it, an act of political retaliation against a critic that is unheard-of in modern campaigns.

Mr. Trump has focused extensively on border security in his campaign speeches, but with inflammatory language that has unnerved the Republican establishment. That issue will certainly be a topic of discussion during Mr. Trump’s trip to Texas — but he has set a high bar for himself in terms of his next act.