The Slatest

Trump Is Visiting Kenosha on Tuesday. The Mayor Would Rather He Didn’t.

People march in support of Jacob Blake and his family to the Kenosha County Courthouse on August 29, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
People march in support of Jacob Blake and his family to the Kenosha County Courthouse on August 29, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is set to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and take a first-hand look at damage from recent protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Kenosha’s Democratic mayor would rather Trump stay away from the city that was engulfed by protests after the shooting. “Realistically, from our perspective, our preference would have been for him not to be coming at this point in time,” Mayor John Antaramian told NPR on Sunday. “All presidents are always welcome and campaign issues are always going on. But it would have been, I think, better had he waited to have for another time to come.”

The mayor wasn’t alone in his request. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who is also a Democrat, is calling on Trump to nix the planned trip to Kenosha. In a two-page letter, Evers wrote Trump should “reconsider” his trip considering Kenosha is still in the process of healing after the shooting of Blake and the subsequent killing of two protesters. “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 delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

Earlier, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes had also criticized the planned trip, calling attention to how Trump and others at the Republican National Convention had pointed to recent protests around the country to push a law-and-order message. “You look at the incendiary remarks that the President has made, they centered an entire convention around creating more animosity and creating more division around what is going on in Kenosha,” Barnes said on CNN. “So, I don’t know how given any of the previous statements that the President made that he intends to come here to be helpful. And we absolutely don’t need that right now.”

Last week, a White House official said there had been efforts to try to contact Blake’s family. But an attorney for Blake’s family, Ben Crump, said on CBS that they had not heard from the White House. “The Blake family has not been contacted at this time,” Crump said. The “Blake family is very respectful of all our elected officials.”