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Trump: ‘Two Chicagos,’ one ‘safe,’ other ‘worse than Middle East’

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said there were “two Chicagos” in his free-flowing, grievance filled press conference on Thursday — one “safe,” the other “worse than the Middle East.”

While Trump’s use of the phrase “two Chicagos” is new, his focus on crime in Chicago is not.

Trump earlier has used the Middle East comparison, as he regularly attacks Chicago for its violence and threatens to “send in the Feds” if Mayor Rahm Emanuel can’t stop the bloodshed.

Given Trump’s interest in Chicago, and his frequent posts on Twitter, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., took to the Senate floor on Thursday to tell Trump to knock off the tweets and send Chicago some help.

“Trump sends out a lot of tweets. He likes to tweet about Chicago, and I’m not quite sure why. Tweeting doesn’t save lives. Saying that you’re going to send in the feds, well, that may be one of those short tweets that’s catchy, but it doesn’t mean a damned thing to the people who are being shot and dying in Chicago,” Durbin said.

“I urge the President and his Administration to re-prioritize federal resources to reduce gun violence in Chicago and around the nation. It’s going to save a lot more lives than tweeting,” he said.

On Monday, Emanuel was in Washington, in part to find more federal crime-fighting resources. He met with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s influential son-in-law and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The “two Chicagos” reference came up during a part of the press conference when Trump was discussing crime.

In some cities, Trump said, not naming one, people are “living in hell. We can’t let that happen. So, we’re going to be very, very strong. That’s a great question and — and it’s a — it’s a very difficult situation because it’s been many, many years. It’s been festering for many, many years. But we have places in this country that we have to fix.

“We have to help African-American people that, for the most part, are stuck there. Hispanic-American people. We have Hispanic-American people that are in the inner cities and their living in hell. I mean, you look at the numbers in Chicago. There are two Chicagos, as you know.

“There’s one Chicago that’s incredible, luxurious and all — and safe. There’s another Chicago that’s worse than almost any of the places in the Middle East that we talk, and that you talk about, every night on the newscasts. So, we’re going to do a lot of work on the inner cities. I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities, OK?”

Earlier in the news conference, Trump, naming only Chicago, said, “We’ve stood up for the men and women of law enforcement, directing federal agencies to ensure they are protected from crimes of violence. We’ve directed the creation of a task force for reducing violent crime in America, including the horrendous situation — take a look at Chicago and others, taking place right now in our inner cities. Horrible.”