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President Donald Trump retweeted a post from supporter Brandon Straka, leader of the #WalkAway movement, calling for the abandonment of Democrat-run cities descending into chaos amid ongoing unrest and violence.
In addition, the president also warned New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio following another weekend of violence in his home town that he would instruct federal authorities to act if he failed to rein in rising crime rates including shootings.
“Law and Order,” Trump tweeted. “If @NYCMayor can’t do it, we will!”
Five people were killed in at least 30 shootings, reported Fox 5 NY.
Straka, who was banned from American Airlines in June after he refused to don a mask for a flight, wrote, “Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot. The media and @TheDemocrats have activated this mental illness and it’s going to get more and more people hurt and killed. #WalkAway from the radical left. And do it quickly.”
His tweet included a video clip featuring people threatening drivers in Manhattan which was tweeted by former NYPD detective Rob O’Donnell.
“NYC Times Square last night. They are threatening bodily & property damage, limiting the free flow of traffic, unlawfully holding others against their will. If NYC Leadership won’t take action, the citizens will need to defend themselves,” he wrote.
**Warning: Strong language
NYC Times Square last night. They are threatening bodily & property damage, limiting the free flow of traffic, unlawfully holding others against their will. If NYC Leadership won’t take action, the citizens will need to defend themselves https://t.co/ER4tEhdb84
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) August 14, 2020
The video shows a shirtless protester with a megaphone and a few others who have set up a demonstration in the middle of the street harassing a couple in a Jeep.
“Move the f**k back! Move the f**k back, bro, what did I just say?” the man said into the megaphone.
“Oh, now you wanna be upset. There’s three f**king people sitting here, you dumb f**ks!”
“Immediately!” the man with the megaphone commands, as the couple slowly backs away in their vehicle.
“Yo, I will dead-a** smash your car, bro. Ask me if I give a f**k,” the man yelled.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, whose network has leveled unprecedented criticism at the president as well as published a significant amount false reports regarding alleged Russia collusion, sounded incredulous.
“I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it, but I checked, and yes, the president of the United States actually RTed this message to ‘Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot,’” he wrote on Twitter.
I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it, but I checked, and yes, the president of the United States actually RTed this message to “Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot.” pic.twitter.com/1b6yZXhQ2p
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 16, 2020
Washington Post political columnist Karen Tumulty also feigned indignant.
“Have we lost our capacity to be shocked? The President of the United States — who is supposed to lead an entire nation — just retweeted someone urging ‘Leave Democrat cities. Let them rot,’” she wrote.
President Trump has regularly offered federal assistance to Democrat-run major cities but in most cases, mayors have rebuffed him.
As for New York City, Eric Adams, the president of the Brooklyn Borough and a former NYPD captain, told Fox 5 NY he isn’t seeing a “level of urgency that should come from a city when you have a high level of violence.”
The local affiliate report shootings in every borough, producing 43 victims — or 10 times the number over the same period year-to-year from 2019.
“I would hate to believe that we’ve become immune to violence based on the geographical location and ethnicity of the victims,” Adams noted further.
The report also noted that there have been 1,087 shooting victims this year thus far, roughly double the 577 shootings during the same period last year.
There have also been more deaths: 263 this year compared to 196 last year.
The dramatic increase in violence led the New York Post editorial board to run a piece headlined, “We Need Someone to Run for Mayor Who Will Save New York.”
“By the beginning of the de Blasio era, the murder rate had fallen by nearly 90 percent. Today, Gotham is plummeting at warp speed — yet it’s eminently saveable,” the editorial said.
Some 420,000 people have left New York City between March 1 and May 1 of this year, due in large part to the coronavirus and rising violence.