President Donald Trump rarely passes up an opportunity to bash Mayor Lori Lightfoot or the city she leads, but when looting and vandalism destroyed some downtown properties, his middle son took a kinder, gentler approach.
Eric Trump called the mayor’s efforts to reach out to him “incredibly kind” and “a class act,” ensuring her, “we’re all rooting for Chicago.”
That’s according to two text messages from the president’s son released by Lightfoot’s office Friday. Both allude to a call the mayor made to Eric Trump.
In one text, dated June 1, Eric Trump says he’s thinking of the mayor and appreciated her call over the weekend.
“I really appreciated your call on Saturday — it was incredibly kind,” the text reads. “I have passed along your support to our team and residences. Please know, I and we truly appreciate you. Eric.”
The mayor’s call came in the midst of the first wave of widespread looting the city saw this summer at the end of May during protests against the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
The text was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and first reported by WTTW.
During the civil unrest that erupted in Chicago, a heavy police presence — as well as raised bridges — blocked off many of the access points to Trump Tower. At least 135 downtown businesses saw windows broken or fires set to their properties during the turmoil.
Shopping centers, including those near 35th, 79th, 87th and 95th streets, were targeted by looters, with entire strip malls torn apart.
In another text, dated July 24, Eric Trump texted to say he appreciated the mayor’s call, “which was a class act.”
“I only imagine how difficult the situation is but know we are all rooting for Chicago … I hope you are well. Eric T.”
President Donald Trump had spoken to the mayor two days before to discuss the 200 federal agents he planned to send to the city.
In a statement, a spokesman for Lightfoot said, “on Saturday, May 30, the Mayor and her team affirmatively reached out to a number of businesses, residential condominiums, and non-profits to update them on various public safety measures being taken in the wake of violent protests.”
“Eric Trump, the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, was one of the people the Mayor reached to provide an update on precautionary public safety efforts the City was taking in the Central Business District, and to advise that the City would not bear sustained costs associated with Trump Tower,” the spokesman’s statement continued. “Subsequently, Eric Trump sent the Mayor two text messages to which the Mayor did not respond.”
Eric Trump’s texts are a sharp contrast to his father’s tweets and remarks.
Since he first ran for the White House, the president has repeatedly treated Chicago as a punching bag, comparing it to Afghanistan, and warning he would stop the violence plaguing the city if local leaders fail.
Just last month, during a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin, President Trump took a shot at Chicago and other cities led by Democrats.
“Obviously, that’s been a disaster — Chicago — total disaster — with, again, radical-left Democrat,” the president said.
Lightfoot has not shied away from taking potshots of her own.
In late May, shortly before looting and unrest broke out in Chicago, the Democratic mayor accused the Republican president of trying to “foment violence” in his response to Minneapolis demonstrators.
“We see the game he’s playing because it’s so transparent, and he’s not very good at it. He wants to show failures on the part of Democratic local leaders to throw red meat to his base. His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. And we can absolutely not let him prevail,” Lightfoot said.
“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words: It begins with F and ends with YOU.”