The Latest: Trump takes health care victory lap in Ohio

Donald Trump, Melania Trump
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for a rally, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s victory lap in working-class Youngstown, Ohio (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap in Ohio after the Senate voted to begin debating legislation aimed at dismantling former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Trump says at a Youngstown, Ohio, rally that, with that vote, Republicans are now one “step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare and delivering great health care for the American people.”

He asks, “You think that’s easy? That’s not easy.”

Trump has been interrupted several times by protesters, just like he often was during the campaign.

His enthusiastic crowd has been responding with chants of “Drain the swamp!” and “CNN sucks!”

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7:35 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is introducing her husband at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio and telling the crowd that he’ll never back down.

Mrs. Trump tells a crowd of several thousand at the Covelli Centre that “Washington has fought” her husband “every step of the way.”

But she says, “I know my husband, and he will never give up.”

Trump says as he kicks off his rally that he’s happy to be “back in the center of the American heartland, far away from the Washington swamp.”

He says he’s hoping to “cut through the fake news filter” and speak “straight to the American people.”

Ohio helped deliver the presidency for Trump.

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5:45 p.m.

Straight off a slim but symbolic health care victory in Washington, President Donald Trump is headed to Ohio for a victory lap with the very voters who helped put him in office.

Tuesday’s trip to Youngstown, a working-class enclave that has helped anchor Democrats in Ohio, will be a campaign stop for the president to loves to relive his once-unlikely Election Day win.

Trump has mainly sought to re-litigate his 2016 victory in friendly territory, escaping Washington to recharge with boisterous crowds that embrace his jabs at “fake news” media, Democrats and even those Republicans whom Trump once vowed to defeat as part of his effort to “drain the swamp.”

Youngstown in particular gives Trump an opportunity to highlight the dynamics that confront the parties heading into 2018 midterm elections.