On Saturday, a White House spokesperson announced that President Trump would meet with local law enforcement and survey the damage from recent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. On Sunday, leaders in Wisconsin asked Trump to “reconsider” such a trip.
“I write today to respectively ask you to reconsider,” Governor Tony Evers penned in a letter to Trump, who was concerned that the president’s presence in Kenosha would “only hinder our healing.” Evers, a Democrat who won the governor’s seat over Scott Walker in the 2018 midterm, also warned that Trump’s visit would require the city and state to reallocate funds toward his trip, rather than toward “keeping the people of Kenosha safe” following the vigilante homicide of two protesters during a demonstration against the police shooting of Blake, who is now paralyzed.
The Democratic mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramian, also preferred that Trump stay out of town. “Realistically, from our perspective, our preference would have been for him not to be coming at this point in time,” he told NPR on Sunday. “All presidents are always welcome and campaign issues are always going on. But it would have been, I think, better had he waited to have for another time to come.” The message was reinforced by Wisconsin lieutenant-governor Mandela Barnes, who told CNN: “I don’t know how, given any of the previous statements that the president made, that he intends to come here to be helpful, and we absolutely don’t need that right now.”
Considering the president’s rhetoric surrounding “BADLY RUN & Crime Infested Democrat Cities & States,” the Wisconsin leaders may have made the smart choice. But a spokesperson on Sunday informed Axios that Trump would still visit to “survey damage from recent riots” despite the suggestions otherwise. As of early Sunday, the president had not contacted the Blake family about a potential meeting, according to their attorney.