Donald Trump’s visit to Kenosha was unwelcome and unwanted by many. He wasn’t there to lower tensions or to work on race relations in the wake of a police shooting that left a black man paralyzed, instead the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says he is there “to tour destruction from unrest over the shooting of Jacob Blake…” ABC News points out:
Attorney General Bill Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf accompanied Trump on his trip to Kenosha. The president was greeted by a mix of supporters and protesters lining the route from the airport to the business and then onto a local high school hosting an emergency operations center, according to the pool.
Before traveling, he had already made it clear he wouldn’t be visiting Blake’s family. During his briefing Monday he remarked, “They wanted me to speak, but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate.” (Note: It’s standard to have attorneys on these calls).
So instead of speaking with a family or offering them his support, today on Twitter, he wrote the purpose of his visit was “to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard for a job well done.”
But shortly after arriving Tuesday afternoon, we found what may have been the biggest reason for the visit, to give himself a big pat on the back.
“One of the reasons I’m making a trip today and going to Wisconsin is we’ve had such a big success in shutting down what would be … a city that would have been burned to the ground by now. And it all stopped immediately upon the National Guard’s arrival.”
Trump added, “once we said go, that was the end of it.” Except that’s not what happened at all.
Officials in Wisconsin continue to stress that Pres Trump is not telling the truth when he says law enforcement in Kenosha has been federalized. Gov Evers deployed Wisconsin National Guard troops & got National Guard troops from other states.
FBI & US Marshals are also helping.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 1, 2020
While on the visit, Trump visited a business that was burned down during riots telling the owners:
“A day earlier we would have saved your store, one day earlier. So the governors have to call, the mayors have to call, as soon as they call the federal government will come in, it will put it out. The ultimate example is Portland, it’s been terrible for a long time, for many decades actually, I read a story, 50 years. You take a look at what’s been happoening for the last 94 days, we would put it out in one hour, it would take one hour, maybe less. It’s really what happened here.”
Trump's entire trip to Kenosha today is based on the false premise that the President took dispatched the National Guard to Kenosha.
Evers deployed Wisconsin National Guard troops & got National Guard troops from several other states, none of which have been federalized.
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) September 1, 2020
This came a day after he appeared to give police a pass when it comes to some of the recent shootings of unarmed black men. He told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that sometimes police just “choke just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt… I’m saying people choke.”
Trump compares killing an unarmed black civilian to missing a three foot putt in a golf tournament, Ingraham jumps in to make him stop. pic.twitter.com/NeHqVn4Uvf
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 1, 2020
And here’s what he said today.
At law enforcement roundtable in Kenosha, Trump makes no mention of Jacob Blake or police reform. He instead says "we have to condemn the dangerous anti-police rhetoric" and that some officers "choke" under pressure: "It's very tough, and then people call them bad and horrible" pic.twitter.com/FbMtjXwV8f
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 1, 2020
With words like these, it’s no wonder both the Mayor of Kenosha and the Governor of Wisconsin urged the president NOT to visit. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers reportedly wrote a letter to Trump saying:
“I am 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.”
What Trump is doing today in Kenosha is very much a Rudy Giuliani move. This is how Rudy acted every time cops shot or abused a Black New Yorker. 100% support for the cops, and the victim’s family could go to Hell. https://t.co/B2JemCILSg
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 1, 2020