President Trump may have been making his first official trip to Chicago but he was not holding back in criticizing the city’s leaders.
Addressing the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the president unloaded on the city, which he compared unfavorably to Afghanistan. He even called out local officials.
Trump targeted the city’s superintendent of police, Eddie Johnson, for many of the issues he brought up, including Chicago’s crime rate and its “sanctuary city” status which offers protections to illegal immigrants.
Johnson, along with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, refused to attend the event, citing Chicago’s core values which he claimed Trump did not represent.
“It just doesn’t line up with our city’s core values, along with my personal values,” Johnson told reporters over the weekend.
The president delivered a blistering response at Monday’s event.
“There is one person who is not here today. We’re in Chicago. I said, ‘Where is he? I want to talk to him.’ In fact, more than anyone else, he should be here, because maybe he could learn something,” Trump said, calling Johnson’s reasoning “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.”
“Here’s a man that could not bother to show up for a meeting of police chiefs, the most respected people in the country, in his hometown and with the president of the United States. And you know why? It’s because he’s not doing his job,” Trump told the law enforcement officials gathered at the event.
He brought up gun violence in the city and noted that “since Eddie Johnson has been police chief, more than 1,500 people have been murdered in Chicago and 13,067 people have been shot.”
Trump turned attention briefly to “Empire” actor Jussie Smollet, who previously claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two men wearing Trump-supporting MAGA hats.
“Then you have this case of wiseguy Jussie Smollett who beat up himself,” the president said to audience laughter.
“It’s a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam,” Trump then said to cheering from the crowd.
He went on to slam Chicago as “the worst sanctuary city in America” over its refusal to detain those who are in the U.S. illegally.
(Video: YouTube/Fox News)
“Chicago protects criminals at a level few could even imagine,” Trump said, pointing out that in Cook County last year, 1,162 requests to detain people from Immigration and Customs Enforcement were denied.
“In each case, the detainer was denied and Eddie Johnson wants to talk about values? No. People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago and those are his values and, frankly, those values to me are a disgrace,” Trump said.
“I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and change them fast,” he added.
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