President Donald Trump openly mused on Thursday night about sending tens of thousands of federal agents into major U.S. cities seeing unrest, claiming he could “solve these problems so fast” if those cities just “invited” the 75,000 “tough” feds he supposedly has ready to go.
Trump, who recently announced a “surge” of hundreds of FBI and Justice Department personnel into Chicago to ostensibly combat violent crime, mused openly about his recent “law and order” push with Fox News host and close confidant Sean Hannity.
The president first brought up Portland, which is currently the scene of a federal crackdown on anti-racism protesters, boasting that he dispatched DHS agents and unmarked federal authorities “because they are anarchists.”
“That is a level people haven’t seen,” the president bellowed. “But they are anarchists. They were going wild for 51 days. And we went in and they’ve done a great job. They were going to rip down the courthouse, a gorgeous federal courthouse. So we went in and we have been very, very strong.”
After mocking Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for getting tear-gassed by federal agents on Wednesday night, crowing that “they knocked the hell out of him,” Trump insisted that he wanted to “help the cities.” And what was his offer to mayors of cities such as Detroit and Chicago?
“We’ll go into all of the cities, any of the cities,” the president declared. “We’re ready. We’ll put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they’re doing. They’re strong. They’re tough. And we can solve these problems so fast, but as you know, we have to be invited in.”
Trump went on to add that “at some point, we have to do something much stronger than being invited in.”
Hannity, meanwhile, tied violence in large cities to Democratic leadership, wondering aloud if the president has a message to “people who boast and argue and say you don’t have a chance of winning New York, Illinois, California or Washington State?”
Complaining that “liberal Democrats” aren’t “respecting the police,” Trump claimed Democratic governors and mayors are explicitly telling police to not fight crime.
“They say not to do it,” the president huffed. “It is a philosophy. Let me tell you, if Joe Biden ever got in, the whole country would be like that.”
Trump eventually circled back to Chicago, which has recently been a major focal point on Fox News programming, asserting that people tell him that “they can’t believe what is going on” before referencing a recent shooting in the city.
“It’s a shame,” he exclaimed. “And we could solve it if they invited us in, we’d go in with 50,000 to 75,000 people. We would be able to solve it like you wouldn’t believe it, like quick.”
Prior to settling for an expansion of Operation Legend when he announced his “surge,” the president privately wanted a Portland-style offensive in Chicago. Envisioning a “camera-ready show of force,” Trump wanted federal agents to flush out violent gang leaders and leave them “shaking in their boots.”