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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the use of federal officers to quell Portland protests and discussed President Trump’s threat to dispatch federal agents to Chicago as well.
McEnany would not give any specifics on Tuesday when asked during a White House press briefing about any plans the president has to send federal law enforcement officers to Chicago and other cities as he had commented on Monday. But the press secretary did address questions about the possibility of federal intervention, even as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to decry any such move.
(Source: Fox News)
“The president says he wants to send these forces to other cities like Chicago — cities where federal property isn’t necessarily under attack,” one reporter said to McEnany during Tuesday’s briefing.
“What are they going to do when they get to Chicago and these other cities with higher crime rates, higher shooting rates, higher murder rates, if the president’s worried about that, what are they going to do? What are they going to arrest people with?” he asked.
“I think you’re getting ahead of the president here,” the press secretary replied.
“He’s made no announcements as to who’s going where. He’s very discouraged by the violence that he’s seen in Chicago, it’s why he’s sent a very strong letter to Mayor Lightfoot offering help, because she’s clearly unable to control her streets. And the governor, as well, unable to control that area,” McEnany added.
Trump spoke with reporters Monday about the ongoing protests and rioting in major U.S. cities, praising federal law enforcement agents in Portland, Ore., where the city has been trashed after weeks of violent protests. But the president remarked about how police, especially in New York City, have been hampered by local governments from doing their jobs, vowing to deploy federal police to help quell the violence in many locations where law enforcement is overwhelmed.
“I’m going to do something — that, I can tell you,” he said. “Because we’re not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these — Oakland is a mess.”
#BREAKING: President Trump says he may send “more federal law enforcement” to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, and other cities to deal with unrest: “In Portland they’ve done a fantastic job.” pic.twitter.com/Pe6aDv6AVt
— The Hill (@thehill) July 20, 2020
“Secret, federal agents who do not know Chicago, are unfamiliar with the unique circumstances of our neighborhoods and who would operate outside the established infrastructure of local law enforcement would not be effective, regardless of the number, and worse will foment a massive wave of opposition,” Lightfoot fired back.
McEnany, who referred to Lightfoot as a “derelict mayor” during a press briefing last week, went on Tuesday to suggest “perhaps it’s time” for the Democrat to admit the city needs federal help, in light of the rise in gun violence and after at least 18 Chicago Police Department officers were injured over the weekend when a mob of left-wing extremists attempted to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus.
(Source: Fox News)
“When you have, each weekend, more than a dozen people getting shot in your city — more than a dozen killed, I should say, and children — perhaps it’s time to say I need the help of the federal government because what I’m doing is simply not working,” McEnany said Tuesday.
“When more people are dying on the streets of Chicago than Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s a tragedy,” she added.
McEnany was also asked if the federal intervention to quell the violence was an abuse of the president’s power. She responded by pointing out the U.S. Code which “gives DHS the ability to deputize officers for duty in connection with protection of property owned or operated by the federal government.”
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