President Trump clearly wasn’t done taking aim at Chicago after he announced on Wednesday that his administration plans to expand a federal “surge” of law enforcement into both the Windy City and Albuquerque.
Trump’s announcement came on the heels of his administration’s deployment of federal law enforcement officers to Portland, Oregon against local officials’ will amid ongoing protests. However, TPM’s Matt Shuham noted that the move is distinct from the federal agents policing protests in Portland — federal law enforcement sent to Illinois and New Mexico will focus on gun violations and violent crime.
The President’s announcement also included trashing Democrats such as Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. Trump only continued going after Chicago and its mayor during his press conference — which was billed as an update to his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak — later Wednesday.
After claiming that his administration is “ready, willing and able” to go into Democrat-run cities “with great force,” Trump was pressed on why he blamed former President Barack Obama in 2016 for the increased homicide rate in Chicago then and why he doesn’t hold himself responsible for the supposedly “out of control” crime rate in the Windy City now.
Trump replied that Chicago is “a disaster” because its mayor says “don’t come in,” which he believes is for “negative political reasons.”
“She’s a Democrat, I’m going to be nice, she’s a Democrat,” Trump said. “She’s making a big mistake. People are dying in Chicago and other cities and we can solve the problem — they have to ask us but we can solve the problem.”
Here’s how Trump’s press conference played out:
Trump suggests he's ready to go in with "great force" and that local police departments are working with federal forces in defiance of local elected officials. pic.twitter.com/dkvTmexeFW
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 22, 2020