Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Sunday expressed their dismay over President Trump’s announcement last week that he will expand a federal “surge” of law enforcement into the Windy City and Albuquerque.
Trump’s announcement came on the heels of anonymous federal forces moving to occupy Portland against the wishes of local officials amid ongoing protests. Protesters in Portland have been snatched off the street, shoved into unmarked cars, beaten and hit with hazes of tear gas — which Portland mayor Ted Wheeler also experienced.
In an interview in the New York Times on Friday, Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum warned that clashes seen in Portland between protesters and the federal agents who were dispatched to quell them “could be happening in your city next.”
The President’s announcement of his administration’s plan to deploy federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque inevitably turned into a political attack against Democrats, who he accused of being “too proud” or “too political” to call for help from the federal government.
Here’s how Lightfoot and Lujan Grisham weighed in on the Trump administration’s move:
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot (D)
Lightfoot reiterated her vehement opposition toward allowing federal agents to be dispatched in her city. The Chicago mayor — who previously served as the chief administrator of the now-defunct Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards — has been targeted by President Trump for weeks. During his coronavirus press conference on Wednesday, Trump said that Lightfoot’s opposition to federal agents is “a big mistake” because Chicago is “a disaster.”
When asked during an interview on CNN Sunday morning if she would support increased federal presence in Chicago if the feds coordinated with local officials, Lightfoot stood by her opposition to the Trump administration’s move and called it “a recipe for disaster.”
“We can’t just allow anyone to come into Chicago, play police in our streets and neighborhoods when they don’t know the first thing about our city — that’s a recipe for disaster,” Lightfoot said. “That’s what you’re seeing playing out in Portland on a nightly basis, we don’t need that here. That’s not a value add, it doesn’t help enhance our public safety.”
Watch Lightfoot’s remarks below:
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot reiterates her opposition to the Trump administration sending federal troops to the city pic.twitter.com/FbbLEjHpT4
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) July 26, 2020
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
Although Lujan Grisham said she might be willing to work with federal officers to combat crime if they work in conjunction with local efforts, the New Mexico governor told ABC News’ George Stephanopolous on Sunday that protecting the First Amendment rights of residents is a priority.
“If we are cooperatively working to address violent crime and gun violence — absolutely,” Lujan Grisham said. “If we’re going to try to incentivize unrest than that’s something all together different.”
Lujan Grisham also said that the timing of federal agents being deployed to Albuquerque is “a bit suspect” given how New Mexico previously requested federal agents to cooperate with the state regarding police and crime investigations, but that the Trump administration failed to provide federal funding for the interventions.
“The interesting thing here is, is that we’ve asked for federal agents to cooperate with us on a number of strategies. They have not provided the federal funding that was promised to Albuquerque for police and crime interventions,” Lujan Grisham said. “And earlier in this administration, they closed down border patrol check points and we had to cover those with state police. So the timing of their efforts remains to be a bit suspect.”
Watch Lujan Grisham’s remarks below:
Asked if she'd work with the federal government on Operation Legend, NM Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says "if we are cooperatively working to address violent crime and gun violence, absolutely. If we're gonna try to incentivize unrest, then that's something altogether different." pic.twitter.com/ssL3g9BoQW
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 26, 2020