(CNN) - President Donald Trump on Monday said without evidence that a caravan of migrants making their way toward the U.S. included “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.”
He blamed Democrats for the state of immigration law, despite Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House since January 2017.
Also on Monday, Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claim that Republicans plan to unveil a middle-class tax cut before the midterm elections, which is a little over two weeks away.
Trump’s rally in Houston was his latest campaign stop, stumping for Republicans.
While exciting his base at these rallies, Trump is also making inaccurate or unproven claims like "We're looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people. And if we do that, it will be sometime just prior I would say to November ... a major tax cut."
In Nevada this weekend, Trump unexpectedly announced Republicans are working on a new "middle class" tax cut that he wants to see by Nov. 1 even though Congress is not in session until after the mid-term elections.
By the afternoon, Trump had changed his tune: "We're putting in a resolution something in the next week, week and a half, two weeks. … We won't have time to do the vote. We'll do the vote after the election."
The president also made the false claim that Californians are *"rioting" over sanctuary cities.
"I don't think we like sanctuary cities up here,” Trump said. “By the way, a lot of people in California don't want them, either. They're rioting now. They want to get out of their sanctuary cities."
Trump made misleading claims while attacking Democrats, too, recently suggesting very few supported a $6 billion opioid bill - though the only “no” vote in the senate came from a Republican.
The president also suggested Democrats are behind a caravan of Central American immigrants marching toward the U.S.: "The Democrats want caravans. They like the caravans."
He added an unsubstantiated claim on Twitter that “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners” are among the migrants.
Trump later doubled down: “You’re going to find MS13. You’re going to find Middle Eastern.”
Meantime, as calls intensify to drop a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia following the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump defended the deal by gradually increasing the number of jobs he claims the deal creates:
- "It's 450,000 jobs. It's the best equipment in the world."
- "Who are we hurting? It's 500,000 jobs."
- “I would prefer that we don’t use, as retribution, which means 600,000 jobs.”
The actual number, according to a White House statement is "potentially… tens of thousands."