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Trump visit to Chicago planned for Oct. 28; would be first as president

President Donald Trump, a frequent Chicago critic, plans to hit the city for a fundraiser and will likely give a speech to a police chiefs convention.

President Trump departs White House For campaign rally In Louisiana.
President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters while departing the White House on Friday.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who has been attacking Chicago’s handling of crime for years, plans to make his first visit to Chicago as president on Oct. 28 for a high-dollar fundraiser and possibly a speech to a national convention of police chiefs.

Trump hits the city for a lunch co-hosted by Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, chairman of the combined fundraising efforts for the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. As of Friday, a source said the location has not been finalized; one possibility is Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., or another downtown venue. Wrigley Field has been ruled out as a venue.

Trump has been focusing on Chicago crime since his 2016 presidential campaign, accusing city leaders of thwarting police. Pushing back, Chicago officials have declared Chicago a sanctuary city in the wake of Trump’s immigration crack downs and have fought other policy directives from the Trump White House, including an attempt to deny law enforcement grants.

The Sun-Times has learned that an organizing call took place on Thursday trying to recruit top Republican donors for the event designed to draw Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin major GOP givers.

When it comes to other Chicago visits, Trump had planned a campaign rally in Chicago on March 11, 2016, during the presidential campaign. But that rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago was canceled about half an hour before it was scheduled to start after protestors sparked security concerns.

On Sept. 28, 2016, Trump returned to Chicago for a campaign event at the Polish National Alliance headquarters, 6100 N. Cicero Ave., and a fundraiser in south suburban Bolingbrook. His visit came two days after he compared Chicago to a “war-torn country” because of its crime.

Trump has been to other parts of Illinois twice so far as president.

On July 26, 2018, Trump spoke at a U.S. Steel mill in Granite City, not far from St. Louis. And on Oct. 27, 2018, days before the mid-term elections, Trump headlined a rally for GOP candidates in downstate Murphysboro.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is holding its annual conference in Chicago October 26-29. A source told the Sun-Times Trump is likely to speak to the group; he did last year when they met in Orlando.

Trump threw a spotlight on Chicago during that Orlando speech, saying, “The crime spree is a terrible blight on that city. And we’ll do everything possible to get it done. I know the law enforcement people in Chicago, and I know how good they are,” he said. “They could solve the problem if they were simply allowed to do their job and do their job properly, and that’s what they want to do.”