Trump Says He’s Still Going to Kenosha, Over Local Objections
President Donald Trump is still planning to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sept. 1, despite repeated calls to reconsider by local authorities, he said on Aug. 31.
“If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now. Also, there would have been great death and injury,” Trump said on Twitter.
“I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!”
After the White House said on Aug. 29 that Trump would visit Kenosha to meet with law enforcement officials and survey damage inflicted by rioters, Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, all Democrats, then urged Trump not to take the trip.
“I’m concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together,” Evers wrote in a letter to the president.
“You look at the incendiary remarks that the president has made, they centered an entire convention around creating more animosity and creating more division around what is going on in Kenosha,” Barnes said during an interview with CNN. “So, I don’t know how given any of the previous statements that the president made that he intends to come here to be helpful. And we absolutely don’t need that right now.”
But others say they want Trump to come.
“Kenoshans are hurting and looking for leadership, and your leadership in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated by those devastated by the violence in Kenosha,” the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors said Aug. 30 in a letter to Trump that he shouldn’t cancel his plans to visit.
Unrest began in Kenosha on Aug. 23 after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a black man who officers sought to arrest for violating a restraining order stemming from an alleged sexual assault claim resisted being taken into custody.
Rioters burned and looted buildings and businesses for three consecutive nights in unrest culminating in the fatal shooting on Aug. 25 of two protesters.
Evers dispatched National Guard troops, and a bolstered force finally helped end the riots, which have since died down.
Trump has painted the failure to quell rioting in some cities, principally Portland, Oregon, and spikes in shootings in others, such as New York City, as the fault of Democratic governors and mayors.
“The Radical Left Mayors & Governors of Cities where this crazy violence is taking place have lost control of their ‘Movement.’ It wasn’t supposed to be like this, but the Anarchists & Agitators got carried away and don’t listen anymore,” he said in another tweet on Aug. 31.
City and state officials, in turn, have repeatedly rejected offers of federal law enforcement assistance from the Trump administration.
Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said he’s preparing for Trump’s visit. There have been 175 arrests in Kenosha since Aug. 24, he said, including 102 with addresses from outside the city.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at the White House that Trump “will show up,” highlighting the planned visit to Kenosha.
“He will go to cities where Americans are hurting,” she said.