President Trump is planning to direct federal law enforcement “help” for Democratic-run cities that have seen a rise in violence this summer, calling them “war zones.”
In a meeting with Attorney General William Barr and other federal officials at the White House on Wednesday, the president said he’ll make a “very exciting” official announcement next week.
“The left-wing group of people that are running our cities are not doing the job that they’re supposed to be doing,” Mr. Trump said in the Oval Office, adding that he will soon announce “what we’re planning to do to help them.”
“They’re supposed to be asking for help,” Mr. Trump said. “And they don’t want to ask — maybe they’re proud or maybe they think it’s bad politically. But we can’t have happen what’s happening.”
The president has singled out cities such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta for a summer of rising violence, including homicides. Last week, the Justice Department announced it was launching a special operation with dozens of federal agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies to Kansas City, Missouri, to help suppress a wave of violence there.
“If the city isn’t going to straighten it, if local politicians — I don’t say this for political reasons — they’re all Democrats, they’re liberal, left-wing Democrats,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s almost like they think this is going to be this way forever, where in Chicago, 68 people were shot, and 18 died last week, we’re not going to put up with that. We’re going to be talking about some of these cities where the Democrats running them have just lost control of the city, so it’ll be very interesting.”
The president said he was prepared to send in federal forces to Seattle to get rid of a police-free “autonomous zone” set up by protesters, but city leaders finally took action.
Mr. Trump said Americans are fearing for their safety and it’s time for federal intervention.
“It’s something that I think at this point, the American people want to see,” the president said. “They’ve been run very poorly these cities, whether it’s Seattle, where we were getting ready to go in … Minneapolis, where we had the National Guard go in. And as soon as they did, we straightened that mess out. But we have other cities that are out of control. They’re like war zones.”