Was President Trump serious about coming to the Iron Range?

Trump told U.S. Steel's CEO he'll visit their Minnesota mines. Did he mean it?
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President Trump told U.S. Steel's CEO he's going to come visit the company's mines on Minnesota's Iron Range – didn't he?

"I'll do it. I'll be out there," were the president's words. But was he serious? Or is that just what you say in a friendly exchange with CEOs visiting the White House to talk about job creation?

There's a clip of President Trump's remarks to U.S. Steel's Mario Longhi below, but first here's a little backstory.

The event was a listening session with the CEOs of several manufacturing companies. As they went around the table introducing themselves there was occasional small talk.

After Trump told the head of Caterpillar he loves the big trucks they make, CEO Doug Oberhelman said "Well, come out and see us and we'll put you in one," the White House transcript shows.

Longhi spoke soon after that and – since U.S. Steel uses Caterpillar trucks at its Mountain Iron and Keewatin mines – he finished by saying "By the way, when you come drive trucks, come up to Minnesota and our mines. You’re going to see us running (the trucks) up there."

It led Trump to say "Good. I'll do it. I'll be out there." We pulled a clip of the video from CSPAN:

Before the invitation to visit Minnesota was extended, Trump told Longhi that two pipelines his administration has approved will have to be built with American-made steel.

Trump's Minnesota visits

Minnesota was not a frequent stop during Trump's presidential campaign. He did come to the Twin Cities for a private fundraiser in the summertime. His only other visit came just a couple of days before the election, when he proclaimed his love for the state.

Most pundits gave Trump little chance to carry Minnesota, since it had been 44 years since the state's electoral college votes last went to a Republican candidate.

But Trump nearly pulled it off, losing to Democrat Hillary Clinton by just 1.5 percent. Trump won Itasca County, which includes a big chunk of the Mesabi Range.

When Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek visited the White House earlier this month, Trump said he thought one more visit to Minnesota would have allowed him to win the state.

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