Lightfoot defends calling FOP president a ‘clown,’ ‘cartoon character’ and ‘total fraud’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday defended sending several insulting text messages to Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara, saying she doesn’t “take back one word that I said.”

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday defended sending a series of insulting text messages to Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara, saying she doesn’t “take back one word that I said.”

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday defended sending several insulting text messages to Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara, saying she doesn’t “take back one word that I said.”

In a heated text exchange, obtained by WGN, Lightfoot called Catanzara a “cartoon character,” “clown” and “total fraud” after the recently appointed FOP president sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Saturday, pleading for federal help in combating the city’s gun violence.

Lightfoot said she believes her characterization of Catanzara is “100% accurate.” She also accused Catanzara of sending the letters in a “craven political move.”

“In the middle of everything that’s going on, in a craven political move, this man waved his hand to President Trump and invited him to bring federal troops into our city, federal troops into our city, a la Portland,” Lightfoot said during a news conference. “How is that responsible? How does that make sense? What he should be doing is focusing on the things that [are] actually important to his members.”

In the letter, Catanzara didn’t specifically ask for “troops” or mention Portland, but he did call Lightfoot a “complete failure” who is unable to maintain law and order.

Lightfoot said she’s tried to engage with Catanzara in a “constructive way” but hasn’t had much luck.

“He refuses to do so because he’s more interested in trying to make himself a political figure rather than to be a leader,” Lightfoot said. “I don’t take back one word that I said.”

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