Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) implored President Donald Trump on Sunday to cancel his upcoming trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday as unrest rages on in the city over the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” Evers wrote in a letter to Trump. “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”
Evers also pointed out that there would have to be a “massive re-direction” of state resources needed to deal with a visit from the President “at a time when it is critical that we continue to remain focused on keeping the people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response.”
White House spokesperson Judd Deere told TPM in an emailed statement that Trump will not cancel plans for the visit.
“The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized,” Deere said. “President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild.”
Protests began last week after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot several times in the back by a police officer and was left paralyzed. The peaceful protests turned violent when police officers clashed with demonstrators, and tensions were further inflamed on Tuesday when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha.
Trump, who has repeatedly railed against anti-police brutality protesters and accused Democratic state leaders of allowing “crime” during the demonstrations, has offered little commentary on either of the shootings, stating on Friday that he was “looking into” the Blake shooting “very strongly” and claiming similarly on Saturday that he was looking at the Rittenhouse case “very, very carefully.”
However, the President has “liked” a tweet that asserted that “Kyle Rittenhouse good example of why I decided to vote for Trump.”