Donald Trump made the first visit of his presidency to Chicago on Monday to host a closed-door fundraiser at his hotel in the city and make a speech in front of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. While there, he made sure to offend the city by claiming that Afghanistan is “a safe place by comparison.”
During his speech, Trump falsely claimed that Chicago had the strictest gun laws in America but that these regulations clearly weren’t helping the city, saying, “Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the United States. That doesn’t seem to be working too well, does it?”
Trump in Chicago: " It’s embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison."— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 28, 2019
He went on to claim that Afghanistan is safer than the Windy City, adding, “It’s embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world, they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison.”
Trump is now telling a many-Sir story about an unnamed man who told him "it's sad, sir, it's very, very sad" what's going on in Chicago, that it's the mayor and police leaders' fault, and that the cops could solve the local "killing problem" in 1 day if they were left alone.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 28, 2019
Note that Donald Trump has never set foot in Afghanistan, and that official statistics show that in fact, shootings and murders are at a four-year low in Chicago.
Trump going to Chicago to shit all over the city (saying it makes Afghanistan look safe by comparison) is a reminder of the asymmetry in our politics. A Dem president would get absolutely killed if he, say, went to Topeka and mocked education levels in the heartland.— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 28, 2019
Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson boycotted the event based on Trump’s comments, saying that “The values of the people of Chicago are more important than anything that he would have to say.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, this angered Trump, who told attendees that he found Johnson’s comments “very insulting,” especially since he’s “done more than any president has ever done for the police.”
Given the fact that the Justice Department completely abandoned its attempt to reform police departments and end corruption within the force, that’s just more “fake news” from the president.
NEW: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson responds to criticism from Pres. Trump.— ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2019
"Today, the same police officers the president criticized for their inability to protect this city spent all day protecting him." https://t.co/dRtnBYYbLN pic.twitter.com/rzXitAkkfI
No doubt the city of Chicago didn’t appreciate Trump’s comments and will be glad to see the back of them. The fact that Trump thinks comments like this are appropriate to make about an American city at all, let alone while actually addressing its residents, is mind-blowing. So much for uniting the country.