Donald Trump likes to argue against defunding the police, but he apparently sees no issue with defunding entire American cities.
My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today. @RussVought45
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
Mr. Trump laid out the directive in a memo, released Wednesday, to Russell T. Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Attorney General William P. Barr. It accuses state and local officials of abdicating their duties.
“Anarchy has recently beset some of our states and cities,” Mr. Trump wrote in the memo, mentioning a few cities specifically: Portland, Ore.; Washington; Seattle; and the president’s birth city, New York. “My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”
Slate opines, “The real point of the memo is for Trump to sow division between his decidedly non-urban, white political base and the other two-thirds of the country.”
To no one’s surprise, Trump’s threat received immediate pushback with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio writing:
He’s making unconstitutional, political threats against us. Mr. President, we’ll see you in court. We’ve beaten you there before and we’ll do it again.
President Trump has actively sought to punish NYC since day one.
He let COVID ambush New York.
He refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover.
He is not a king. He cannot "defund" NYC.
It's an illegal stunt.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 2, 2020
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan responded as well saying, “This is the latest attempt to distract from the fact that COVID-19 has infected over 6 million Americans, killed 185,000 people, and destroyed the American economy. The only anarchy zone in America, where the rule of law is disregarded, is at the White House.”
He continues to believe that disenfranchising people living in this country to advance his petty grudges is an effective political strategy. The rest of us know it is dangerous, destructive, and divisive.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) September 3, 2020
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