Trump taunting Chicago top cop is easy. Fixing crime in the city is not.

If anyone knows the cop who Trump says can fix crime in Chicago in a day, give me a call.

SHARE Trump taunting Chicago top cop is easy. Fixing crime in the city is not.
President Donald Trump speaks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention at McCormick Place

President Donald Trump speaks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention at McCormick Place, Monday morning, Oct. 28, 2019.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Taunting Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is easy, and that’s the out President Donald Trump took in Chicago on Monday, when he used his first visit here as president to trash talk the city — again.

“All over the world, they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison,” Trump said.

Trump, since running for president in 2016, has singled out Chicago and its struggles to deal with chronic crime.

Perhaps Trump’s animus was initially fueled by the obvious observation during his 2016 run that even President Barack Obama couldn’t stop shooting sprees in his adopted hometown, and Trump wanted to rub it in. Trump had further temptations to mock the city leaders, given that the mayor was then Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s first chief of staff.

The point needs to be made that Trump, president since January 2017, has not been able to stop the shootings in Chicago either. Taunting Johnson solves nothing. It’s a sugar high. It’s easy. Fixing this is hard. So hard that the solution has eluded two presidents so far.

Johnson made himself a Trump target when he declared he would boycott Trump’s speech on Oct. 22 — the day the White House confirmed Trump would deliver remarks to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in McCormick Place — “because the values of the people of Chicago are more important to me than anything that could be said in the speech.”

That gave Trump plenty to work with.

He used Johnson’s name eight times in his 68-minute speech. Trump was talking to a friendly, receptive audience of law enforcement chiefs from around the globe. They found the president fixated on one chief in particular.

Trump told the thousands filling a massive hall that Johnson’s snub was “a very insulting statement after all I’ve done for the police. And I’ve done more than any other president has ever done for the police. Over a hundred years — we can prove it — but probably from the beginning.”

Trump’s Chicago day trip came as the House Democrats are stepping up the pace in their impeachment inquiry, with a vote formalizing the proceedings to take place Thursday.

Trump brought his grievances with impeachment to Chicago, linking and equating Jussie Smollett’s controversy to his own plight.

Smollett is the gay and black “Empire” star who claimed he was a hate crime victim after he was attacked last winter by someone who said, “This is “MAGA country.” Smollett was later charged with staging his attack, but the charges were dropped.

In Trump’s telling, “You have the case of this wise guy, Jussie Smollett, who beat up himself,” Trump said to laughter. “And he said MAGA country did it. MAGA country. OK? He said MAGA — it’s a hate crime. That’s a hate crime. And it’s a scam. It’s a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam.”

What is not a scam is Trump once again telling a story that has never been proven true. You may have heard about it through the years. Before Monday, Trump was in the city as the GOP presidential nominee on Sept. 28, 2016, and on March 11, 2016, before the Illinois primary.

Trump claims he met a Chicago cop who knew how to stop crime on one of these campaign visits. How many days it would take depends on the telling.

Trump embellished with relish Monday.

Trump said in Chicago, he found himself being accompanied by a “massive motorcycle brigade of policemen” who numbered in the “hundreds.” Trump said, “The leader of the brigade was this really powerful, strong-looking guy. A big booming voice.”

When Trump asked this cop, “What the hell is happening in Chicago,” the cop told him it’s the mayor (then Emanuel) and the police brass who are the problem.

Trump recounted he asked the cop, “How long do you think it would take you to fix this killing problem in Chicago?” He looked at me, he said, “One day, sir. These cops are great.”

Trump said, “I’m sure that we could find him.” But that cop hasn’t been found. Trump didn’t even ask him to come forward.

I’ve never found proof this man exists. Before we label this another Trump lie, let’s give it a last shot. If anyone knows this cop, give me a call.

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