President Donald Trump declared Monday that he would move ahead with a planned trip to Kenosha, Wis., in defiance of Gov. Tony Evers’ request that he stay away from the state amid raw tensions surrounding protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
“If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!”
The president’s social media post comes after the Associated Press reported that the governor sent a letter to the White House on Sunday urging Trump to reconsider his scheduled visit to Kenosha.
“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. “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.”
Trump and his allies have sought to highlight incidents of rioting and looting that have accompanied the city’s recent protests, which began after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back seven times by a white police officer earlier this month as he leaned over into his car.
Last Tuesday, two protesters in Kenosha were shot to death and a third was wounded during an attack allegedly carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old police admirer from Illinois, was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
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