President Trump meets with House GOP at Baltimore retreat

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BALTIMORE, MD. (Gray DC) -- President Donald Trump is in Baltimore Thursday, speaking before Republican members of Congress attending their annual retreat.

House Republicans greet President Donald Trump at the annual GOP retreat. This year, they convene in Baltimore, Maryland to discuss the game plan to win re-election in 2020. (Source: CNN)

It’s his first visit there since the President excoriated Maryland Democrats in July and called Baltimore a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” on Twitter.

Washington Correspondent Alana Austin reports from inside the conference about the President’s message, and the big issues lawmakers plan to take up.

President Trump is meeting with fellow Republicans up for re-election in 2020. In Baltimore, a Democratic-run area, the GOP is targeting opponents on the left – saying their policies are failed socialism.

The President and Republicans are gearing up for the campaign season, and selling their conservative agenda.

“We have done things that very, very few have even thought about doing but we also need to prepare for the coming fight," said the President during his remarks.

While Republicans are still in the minority, and facing at least 15 retirements from House members, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy believes his party can win on policy. He went after Democrats for moving forward with committee impeachment hearings against the President.

“This is not something to play with," said McCarthy during an opening press conference. "Name me one thing this new Democratic majority has solved.”

Outside, a crowd of protesters sounded off over Trump’s tweets this summer that called Baltimore “very dangerous” and rat and rodent infested.

Democratic National Committee spokesman David Bergstein says Trump’s remarks on Baltimore are disappointing.

“Trump has insulted the people of Baltimore, and he has offended Americans of every political stripe," said Bergstein.

But Conference leaders like Missouri GOP Congressman Jason Smith say the President cares about lifting up local economies.

“He cares about the heart of America – a lot of people that have been forgotten," said Smith.

Friday morning, health care, national security, technology and the economy will be major topics of discussion.

At the retreat’s first day, House Republicans emphasized the wins this week in two North Carolina special elections. Republicans-elect Dan Bishop and Greg Murphy will soon make their way to Washington after hanging onto those seats for the party.

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