Source: Ryan Saavedra
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it is going after “lawless cities” that have allowed violent anarchists to loot and riot by preventing them from taking federal funding.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “We’re putting them on notice today.”
The four cities that were reportedly named in a memo from the president included Portland, Seattle, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
So far, all of the Democrat mayors of those cities have responded to the news, except District of Colombia Mayor Muriel Bowser.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by writing on Twitter: “While @realDonaldTrump spent this year hiding from COVID-19, New York City led the fight back. Now we’re trying to recover and 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.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler responded: “Trump threatens to withdraw federal funds, possibly including health, education, and safety net dollars Americans are relying on to get through this pandemic and economic crisis.”
“Once again, only progressive communities with democratic Mayors, which he labels ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ – including Portland – are targeted. This is a new low, even for this president,” Wheeler continued. “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.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan responded by writing on Twitter: “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.”
“President Trump cannot defund Seattle – it is unlawful. Surely the Attorney General has advised the President of the United States that he does not have the power to decide who gets funding based on his political interests,” Durkan later added. “America’s cities will not be distracted by his actions. We will continue to work to bridge divides, rebuild our economy, address gun violence and systemic racism, and make our cities more just and equitable.”
The New York Post first reported on the memo outlining the plans by the Trump administration, which specifically called out the mayors.
“While violence has surged, arrests have plummeted,” the memo said about New York City. “In a 28-day period during the months of June and July, [New York City] arrests were down 62 percent from the same period in 2019. Amidst the rising violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed to cut one billion dollars from the New York Police Department (NYPD) budget, including by cancelling the hiring of 1,163 officers.”
The memo added that Bowser “allowed rioters and anarchists to engage in violence and destruction in late May and early June, requiring me to call in the National Guard to maintain law and order in the Nation’s Capital.”