President Trump is putting off plans to save lives in Chicago so he can have a “very exciting” news conference next week.
He’s content to wait. For what? Another weekend of violence so he can say for the umpteenth time Chicago is “worse than Afghanistan?”
On Wednesday, Trump said he’s planning some announcement next week about crime in cities led by “liberal, left-wing Democrats,” calling out Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis.
Trump’s been hinting that he has some special sauce to reduce crime in Chicago for years, starting with that Chicago cop – whose existence has never been proven – who supposedly told Trump during the 2016 campaign he knew how to cure crime in a few days.
This latest run-up to a likely announcement next week comes in an important context. Trump increasingly is fashioning himself as the law-and-order president as he – and his reelection campaign – pound on rival Joe Biden, trying to portray him – and all Democrats – as radical leftists soft on crime.
As Trump was lambasting crime in cities run by Democrats, his campaign released a 30-second spot with the theme, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” talking about the “radical left-wing mob agenda.” At 19 seconds into the ad, there is a clip of Chicago police at a crime scene with words on the screen saying in all caps, “INNOCENT CHILDREN FATALLY SHOT.””
Yes, too many weekends in Chicago are ending up with children and adults dead as a result of wanton gun violence.
“We’ll have another announcement next week with the Attorney General, the FBI, and others concerning our cities, because the left-wing group of people that are running our cities are not doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing,” Trump said Wednesday.
“And it’s not a very tough job to do if they knew what they were doing. So we’ll be talking about that next week and probably have an announcement as to what we’re planning to do to help them. They’re supposed to be asking for help, and they don’t want to ask. So maybe they’re proud or maybe they think it’s bad politically, but we can’t have happen what’s happening.”
I took that as a reference to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. At the end of June, Trump sent them a letter asking them to call to discuss federal assistance. Lightfoot and Pritzker – who have been tangling with Trump on multiple fronts – took the letter as a press stunt. That’s because Trump threw the kitchen sink at them, jabbing them over other issues not connected with gun violence in the city.
What does Trump want to do? On Tuesday, in talking about crime in Chicago and New York, he mentioned ending cash bail and then vague mentions of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard.
“They’re all ready to go,” he said.
Trump previewed his upcoming announcement about Chicago and other cities at what he promised to be “a very exciting news conference” at an event to highlight his cracking down on the violent MS-13 gang.
A few days ago, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany lamented that no one asked about Chicago at a briefing — one I did not attend. So I called and emailed and asked her deputies about what Trump has in mind for the city.
I got a general reply on how Trump wants Lightfoot and Pritzker to phone to discuss “ways to establish law and order” in Chicago. I’ll be surprised if they call. But that’s not the point. If Trump has suggestions to save lives in Chicago, the people of Chicago need to know the details.
Kayleigh, why wait until next week? So you can put up more pictures of Chicago children who died as a result of wanton shootings at your briefing? You did just that a few days ago.
Does Trump want the arguments about leftist mayors or does he want to show the nation he is capable of working with people he politically despises — and who feel likewise about him.
Does President Donald J. Trump really want to try to make a difference? Maybe save a life?
Every day counts when it comes to shootings in Chicago.