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Trump: Republicans are liking me

Trump: Republicans are liking me
© David J. Phillip/AP Photo Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally Friday, June 17, 2016, in The Woodlands, Texas.

THE WOODLANDS, Tex. -- Donald Trump wrapped up a two-day fundraising tour of Texas by telling supporters Friday that Republicans are coalescing around him.

"Let me tell you folks, we have tremendous support — tremendous support," Trump told thousands of backers at a hotel-convention center complex in a suburb of Houston.

The self-described "outsider" who is on his way to the Republican presidential nomination said that "the party is actually liking me."

Trump also mocked calls for more gun control in the wake of last weekend's mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, saying the killer could have been stopped if more patrons had been armed — they could have shot the "son of a [expletive]," the candidate said, drawing loud cheers and chants of "U-S-A" from the crowd for his use of the invective.

While raising money in this large, Republican-leaning state, Trump visited Texas as a number of Republican officials nationwide continued to avoid endorsing their presumptive presidential nominee, citing concerns that range from his comments about a judge's "Mexican heritage" to his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States because of terrorism concerns.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., though he has endorsed Trump, told NBC's Meet The Press that his party is divided and Republicans should follow their consciences in deciding whether to support the New York businessman.

During his appearance near Houston, Trump recited a familiar litany of issues that included the Muslim ban, an anti-illegal immigration wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and pledges to reverse the job-killing effects of "bad trade deals." Trump bashed Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton.

Trump gave shout-outs to signs that appeared in the crowd, including "Mexicans For Trump" and "Gays For Trump," both of which are among the demographics heavily opposed to him, according to political polls.

"I am far better for women," Trump said. "I am far better for gays."

During his two-day trip to the Lone Star State, Trump visited Dallas and San Antonio as well as the Houston area for a string of fundraisers and public rallies in which he entered and left to the tune of "Deep In The Heart of Texas."

"I think we're going to do very well in Texas," Trump said.

The GOP candidate wraps up a week-long, cross-country campaign swing with events Saturday in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

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