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“SOONER RATHER THAN LATER”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 9, 2020) — In an interview with Sean Hannity Thursday night, in response to Hannity’s raising of increasing violence in America’s major cities and Chicago particularly, President Trump said that although local government officials would normally have to request federal assistance to restore law and order, “We’re going to have to do something.”
Trump capped the remark with, “sooner rather than later.”
Pivoting to Seattle, Hannity said he had a source who informed him that Mayor Jenny Durkan took action to disband the “CHOP” zone eight days ago because federal resources were to move in imminently to do so. When Hannity asked Trump if that were true, Trump responded in the affirmative. “We were going in very shortly, very soon, and we would have taken the ‘CHOP,’ I call it, ‘CHOP’ — we would have taken it back very easily…Yeah, we were all set to go into Seattle; frankly, I looked forward to it.”
“CHOP,” which began as an “cop-free” “autonomous zone” in a six-block area of the Capitol Hill district, saw two fatalities, several injuries, and other reported crimes during its approximate three-week lifespan before Durkan ordered police in to the area to disperse occupiers and make arrests for non-compliance on July 1.
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee had declined to activate the National Guard to retake the occupied area, where a number of business-owners said their businesses were suffering and their safety put in jeopardy.
According to the Associated Press, 70 people were shot in Chicago over the July 4 weekend and 17 killed, including two children. Over the last weekend of May, 85 were shot, 24 of whom died, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, in the city’s “most violent weekend of 2020″ to that date.
Over Fathers’ Day weekend, the same source reported, 104 people sustained gunshot wounds, 15 of which proved fatal.
Hannity stressed to Trump the growing problem in “Barack Obama’s home town” of Chicago and Obama’s failure to act on the increasing violence there during his White House tenure. Obama purports to have been born in Hawaii and raised for several years in Indonesia. He settled in Chicago after reportedly attending Columbia University.
“What specifically can you do?” Hannity asked Trump in regard to restoring order in Chicago, to which Trump said he spoke with the father of a 19-year-old killed in the CHOP zone and extended an invitation for him to visit the White House. Shifting the conversation to New York City, which is also experiencing dramatically-rising crime since the “Defund the police” movement took root following the May 25 death of George Floyd, Trump emphasized that his administration procured ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the needs of both New York City and New York State during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.
During his answer, Trump complimented the Chicago and New York City police departments and noted that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the painting Thursday of a “Black Lives Matter” “mural” on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower.