Trump: You bet I'm still going to Kenosha tomorrow

Over the weekend, Karen examined President Trump’s rationale for flying into the heart of a storm, but not Hurricane Laura. The storm in question is the ongoing riots and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some of the locals have reached out to the President to lend his support, so he announced that he would be going. This led to a rather pointed letter being sent by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, “urging” the President to stay away. His reasons? Kenosha is “already on the mend” and Trump’s “divisiveness” would only make things worse.

The governor made the plea in a Sunday letter, portraying Kenosha — where Jacob Blake, 29, was shot seven times by police on Aug. 23 — as a divided community that’s already on the mend.

“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” Evers wrote in his letter.

“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.”

Really? Kenosha is “already healing?” I’m not sure if 175 arrests in the past 24 hours when you haven’t even finished burying the dead is a sign of healing, Governor.

But that doesn’t really matter anyway. I’m not sure what Evers was thinking would happen if he sent that sort of poison pen note to Donald Trump, but experience should have told him that the President doesn’t generally respond well to such things. The White House quickly put together a diplomatic response. Thanks for your input, but we’ll go ahead and come visit you anyway. (NY Post)

“The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement late Sunday, CNN reported.

“President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild,” he added.

Earlier Sunday, Evers portrayed Kenosha — where Blake, 29, was shot seven times by a cop on Aug. 23 — as a divided community that’s already on the mend.

Trump has received praise from local law enforcement leaders as well as the business community… or at least what’s left of it. It’s also been suggested that members of Jacob Blake’s family might meet with the President, though nothing has been formalized. No matter what’s on the agenda, Kenosha is currently the eye of the storm and that seems to be the place where Donald Trump is most comfortable.

I can’t imagine what sort of fits this short-notice trip is giving the Secret Service. I was discussing this with some friends on social media after the news first broke and expressed concerns over the seemingly needless risk of bringing the President into a Democratic stronghold that’s in the midst of burning down and being consumed with looting and, most recently, shootings. Yes, Trump’s security team knows their job and they are no doubt working 24/7 to plot out the details of the trip and ensure that their boss remains safe. But when you consider the unhinged nature of the mob there and their willingness to ignore lawful authority and engage in mayhem, it’s not so far fetched to think that one of them might decide to take a run at the President.

But if Donald Trump gets the chance to express some compassion for those who have been so seriously affected by all of the violence, as well as Blake’s family, perhaps he’ll be contributing to the healing process in his own way. It also wouldn’t hurt to reach out directly to the public in Kenosha and remind them that federal help is only a phone call away if the Mayor and the Governor can set aside their hatred of the President long enough to not look a gift horse in the mouth.

None of that does much to ease my initial reaction, however. The world has gone well off the deep end this year and the lunatic fringe appears to be at the height of its power. Trump needs to be able to get back to Washington in one piece and get on with the many tasks currently on his plate. Best of luck to you, sir.

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John Stossel 12:40 AM | April 12, 2024