Politico

Trump to visit Kenosha in wake of police protests


President Donald Trump is to visit Kenosha, Wis., where unrest has surged over the past week in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed African American man, Jacob Blake.

During a roundtable discussion in Orange, Texas, in which state officials assessed the storm damage from Hurricane Laura, a reporter asked the president whether he would also visit Kenosha.

“Probably so,” Trump responded. “We’ve had tremendous success as you know. We were finally able to get the go ahead from the local authorities to send in the National Guard. We sent in the National Guard, and within a few minutes of the Guard, everybody cleared out and it became safe.”

Following Trump’s comments, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed the president will visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent violence, according to a pool report.

Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times by a white police officer Sunday as Blake attempted to enter his car. Blake survived the shooting but family members have said he is now paralyzed.

More than 1,000 National Guard soldiers have been on standby at the Kenosha protests to prevent a further escalation of violence, Reuters reported. Roughly 1,000 people, including Blake’s father, marched peacefully there Saturday in a rally against police brutality, the Associated Press reported.

Trump has repeatedly used protests as a campaign talking point, contrasting a “law and order message” with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

On Thursday, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said the police officer who shot Blake should be charged with a crime.

The president also used the roundtable question to criticize officials in Portland, Ore., a city that has seen months of protests over systemic racism. He said Portland’s mayor “doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing.”

Trump’s comments echoed sentiments from his recent tweets on outbreaks of unrest in cities nationwide.

“Portland, with a very ungifted mayor, should request help from the Federal Government. If lives are endangered, we’re going in!” Trump tweeted earlier Saturday.

During the Saturday roundtable, Trump deferred on a question on the fatal shooting of two Kenosha protesters Tuesday, in which a 17-year-old from Illinois has been charged, saying the case is under investigation.

“They’ll be reporting back to me over the next 24 hours, 48 hours maybe max, and we’ll have a comment about it,” he said.

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