Donald Trump will have rally in Phoenix Wednesday; looking for bigger venue

Posted at 3:26 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 22:26:41-04

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says his event planned for Phoenix next week is not canceled, but changing locations.

Earlier Friday an Arizona Republican Party spokesman said Trump's event, which was scheduled for the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix, was canceled with no immediate plans to reschedule. Around the same time, Trump for President Arizona campaign director Brian Seitchik told the Associated Press the visit was canceled.

Representatives from the Trump campaign and state GOP did not immediately return emails and phone calls seeking clarification on the event, or further details on where or when the rally would take place.

Campaign officials said Wednesday that Trump planned the Aug. 31 visit to Phoenix, with people close to the campaign initially touting it as a policy speech to define his immigration policy.

Hours later, Seitchik called reporters to reframe the visit as a Republican unity event timed for the day after Arizona's primary election. He blamed a "staff error" for the mixed messages.

Trump has recently softened his tone on illegal immigration. Trump and his surrogates have hinted that Trump will soften message regarding immigration. He announced that he still plans to build his controversial border wall and kick undocumented workers out of the country, while still developing a "fair" immigration policy. 

"No, I'm not flip-flopping," Trump told Fox News earlier this week. "We want to come up with a really firm, but fair answer." 

James Garcia, a spokesperson for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said, "In terms of his [Trump's] latest position, they're really unclear. We don't know what he means." 

While the AHCC hasn't officially endorsed a presidential candidate, the group has been critical of Trump's immigration stance. 

Even though Trump is retracting some of his most controversial statements now, the move isn't expected to make a difference for American Latinos, Garcia said.

"Especially since Latinos and African-Americans are strongly opposed to his policies in general," Garcia said. "In that context, we would see this as an act of desperation."