Trump blames violent spree in Chicago on 'bad leadership'

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After 72 people were shot within one weekend in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for the city to work together. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump slammed political leaders in Chicago on Thursday, blaming city officials for the weekend violence that left 12 people dead.

“I guess you have to take it from the leadership,” Trump said in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he was holding a meeting on prison reform. “It’s called bad leadership.”

Trump has frequently criticized city leaders in Chicago over violence there. A month after taking office, Trump said crime in the city was “totally out of control.” He threatened to “send in the feds,” which some interpreted as a reference to the National Guard.

Trump instead deployed agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

In his remarks Thursday, the president did not name Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as President Barack Obama’s first chief of staff. Trump instead spoke broadly about the “bad stuff” happening in the city, and blamed its leaders. 

At least 72 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, including 12 fatally.

“There’s no reason in a million years something like that should be happening,” Trump said.

The Emanuel administration, which has been repeatedly attacked by Trump during his nearly 20 months in the White House, chaffed at the barb from Trump.

“Bob Mueller’s investigation and Paul Manafort’s criminal trial must be getting to the president,” said Adam Collins, a spokesman for Emanuel. “We’re too busy working to continue reducing crime with police, community leaders, ministers and federal prosecutors to pay attention to his musings.”

The mayor said this week that “we as a city, in every corner, have an accountability and responsibility.” 

“If you know who did this, be a neighbor,” Emmanuel said. “Speak up.” 

Trump, who frequently discussed reducing crime in U.S. cities during his 2016 campaign, was speaking from his New Jersey golf resort, where he is on a working vacation. In a meeting with governors and members of his cabinet, the president said his administration wants to ensure former inmates can find employment.

He said the low unemployment rate is helping all Americans find work and also noted that he met with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to discuss legislation to help former inmates reenter the workforce.     

“We want to treat Americans fairly,” Trump said.    

Former Chicago Police Garry McCarthy, who is running against Emanuel, said in an interview that the department lost “an incredible amount of talent” because of Emanuel’s decision to fire or push into retirement police department leaders during the fallout of the controversial Laquan McDonald shooting in 2014. 

The city was forced by a 2015 court order to publicly release video of the officer-involved shooting of the black teen who was shot 16 times by a white police officer.

McCarthy was fired by Emmanuel days after the release of the video. The former Chicago top cop pointed to the ouster of two chiefs of the departments detective’s division in the fallout of the controversy as having a negative impact on the police department.

Chicago has tallied more than 1,400 murders and 6,200 shootings in 2016 and 2017, and more than 325 shootings thus far in 2018.

“Here’s a fact that people don’t recognize,” McCarthy said. “If you compare the murder rates in Chicago to 2013, 2014, and 2015 – my last three years as superintendent – to 2016, 2017, and 2018, there are almost 400 murders in the city of Chicago.

“That is mass murder, and it’s been facilitated by the political environment that’s been created and the anti-police environment,” McCarthy said. 

More: At least 72 shot, 13 killed in Chicago over violent summer weekend, police department says

More: Why Chicago PD can’t get more residents to identify gun violence suspects

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Source | Originally Posted at:  | https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/09/donald-trump-says-chicago-violence-product-bad-leadership/948405002/ | | |  https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2018/08/09/USAT/f76aab5a-a7bc-47de-8887-a45dd0c89e72-AP_Trump_1.JPG?width=534&height=401&fit=bounds&auto=webp |

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