Trump visits KC to address VFW convention, attend Hawley campaign event

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- President Donald Trump stopped in Kansas City on Tuesday for the first time since he took office.

Trump's first stop once the presidential motorcade left Kansas City International Airport was Municipal Auditorium in downtown where he spoke at the VFW National Convention.

There, he touched on military themes from tough talk on Iran, to containing North Korea's ambitions and, a residual benefit, negotiating the return of American remains left behind from the Korean War

"I hope that very soon these fallen warriors will begin coming home to lay at rest on American soil," Trump said Tuesday.

The President spoke on efforts to improve veterans' healthcare and reduce VA wait-times by allowing veterans to use private physicians, but mostly, to give them what they need, he said, to win.

"My administration is committed to ensuring our war fighters have the tools, the resources, the power to defeat our enemies with overwhelming support," he said.

Trump also hit on campaign-like themes of tax cuts and jobs and urged patience on tariffs to counter trade deals he labels "disastrous."

And yes, he talked about efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, reminding veterans a third of ICE agents are veterans and arguing a "catch and release" immigration policy breeds crime.

"We cannot send our military to confront threats abroad only to allow those same threats to cross our borders and to threaten us right here at home," he said.

From immigration to missing in action, they were themes welcomed by a pro-White House crowd.

"Fabulous, had us pumped from the second he walked on the stage. He just kinda had everyone in the palm of his hand," Vietnam veteran Jack Smith said of Trump's speech.

"Getting the remains of all our fallen heroes is very important to me," said Walter Wesley Watts, a Korean War veteran.

You can replay the first part of his time in Kansas City in the video player below.

After speaking at the VFW convention, the President thenĀ attend a fundraising event for Josh Hawley, who is running for U.S. Senate, at the downtown Marriott hotel.

Downtown roads and sidewalks shut down as early as 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for several blocks around the Kansas City Convention Center. They stayed that way into the early afternoon until Trump returned to Washington D.C.

CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins reported that John Kelly, Stephen Miller, Johnny DeStefano, Derek Lyons, Jordan Karem, Hogan Gidley, Stefan Passantino and Bill Stepien, in addition to Reps. Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Kevin Yoder and Jason Smith all traveled with President Trump to Kansas City.

Below are photos from Municipal Auditorium where President Trump spoke at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States National Convention.

Photo from inside Municipal Auditorium where President Trump will address the VFW Convention.

People waiting to get into the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States National Convention Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

K-9 unit Officer Rico in place for President Trump's visit Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Protesters gathered around Kansas City to protest President Trump.

Two people protesting President Trump's visit to Kansas City Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

People protesting President Trump's visit to Kansas City Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

People protesting President Trump's visit to Kansas City Tuesday, July 24, 2018.