The Latest: Trump praises groundbreaking of Foxconn plant

MILWAUKEE — The Latest on President Trump's trip to North Dakota and Wisconsin to attend a series of rallies and fundraising events (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is praising the groundbreaking for a $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin.

Trump said Thursday that what used to be a field about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Milwaukee in Mount Pleasant will become one of the largest developments ever built in the world at 20 million square feet (1.9 million square meters).

He says the decision by the Taiwan-based maker of LCD screens and assembler of Apple iPhones shows "America is open for business."

Thousands of construction workers are expected to build the plant, which will eventually employ about 13,000 people.

Trump and other officials including Gov. Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan wielded gold-toned shovels at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the plant on Thursday.

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12:50 p.m.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson says he trusts President Donald Trump's strategy on trade, despite his attacks on Harley-Davidson.

Thompson is attending the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Foxconn Technology Group project Thursday with President Donald Trump. Thompson is an avid Harley rider and used to say that Wisconsin is the state where "Harley's roar."

Thompson says he thinks Trump has a game plan when it comes to Harley. The president has been tweeting criticism of the Milwaukee-based company ever since it announced Monday it was moving some production overseas to avoid European Union tariffs.

Thompson says, "I think Harley is going to come out of this better than they are today."

He says a lot of what Trump is doing is rhetoric.

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12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have grabbed a pair of golden shovels and moved piles of dirt under the hot June sun as part of a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Foxconn Technology Group project.

They stood in front of a massive American flag held aloft by a pair of construction cranes Thursday.

Trump and Walker were joined by Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the first Wisconsin Foxconn employee Christopher Murdock for the ceremony.

Miles away in downtown Mount Pleasant protesters, including Democrats hoping to unseat Walker this fall, gathered to disavow the project — particularly its impact on the environment and the $4.5 billion in potential taxpayer subsidies to the Taiwan-based company.

But Walker and backers say the project will be transformational for the state's economy.

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10:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is attending a pair of fundraising events in Milwaukee benefiting a joint effort between the Republican Party and his re-election campaign.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel attended the separate round-table and breakfast events. Both are closed to news media coverage and are being held at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, where Trump spent a rare weeknight away from the White House.

Afterward, Trump was participating in a ceremonial ground-breaking for a new $10 billion Foxconn facility, located in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.

Taiwan-based Foxconn is the world's largest electronics manufacturer and assembles Apple iPhones and other products for tech companies.

Trump is also expected to tour an existing Foxconn facility there and make remarks before returning to Washington.

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7 a.m.

President Donald Trump has urged North Dakota voters to defeat "liberal Democrat" Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, although she is a moderate who strays at times from Democratic positions.

At an appearance Wednesday in Fargo, Trump called for the election of Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, one of his staunchest allies in Congress.

Heitkamp is one of the Senate's most vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election, so she is firmly in Republican sights looking toward November.

But Heitkamp is considered a moderate and one of the least reliably partisan Democratic votes in the Senate. She's largely backed the oil-rich state's corporate interests on energy and has opposed some restrictions on guns. She voted to confirm 21 of Trump's 26 Cabinet-level nominations.

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