Trump Ready To Send 75,000 Federal Law Enforcement Officers To ‘Fight Crime’
President Donald Trump is prepared to send 75,000 federal agents to cities experiencing violent crime, he told Fox News Thursday.
In a phone interview, Trump said he was prepared to send “50,000, 60,000 people” to cities, but later boosted that number to 75,000, noting that it would require local authorities first requesting assistance.
“We have to be invited in. At some point we’ll have to do something much stronger than being invited in,” Trump said.
He continued, “We’ll go into all of the cities, any of the cities. We’re ready.”
The move would expand on Trump’s anti-crime campaign platform, in which he has used Black Lives Matters protests and the Defund the Police movement to paint cities as a threat to suburban life. He has falsely labeled presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden as a proponent of defunding the police, and used a recent campaign ad of an elderly woman being burglarized to show voters they “won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
During the Thursday interview, Trump suggested he’d spoken with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), who has pushed back against Trump’s warnings to deploy federal officers to her city.
He said they had a “great talk,” but complained that other Democratic leaders were not cooperating. “They don’t want to ask,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”
In addition to Chicago, other cities that could see an increase in law enforcement include Seattle and Portland, according Department of Homeland Security officials.
Camouflaged officers have already arrested protesters in Portland, Oregon, as part of Trump’s demands that federal buildings be protected. While the arrests, called “kidnappings” by some due to the lack of clear identification, have drawn criticism from local residents and officials, DHS officials said the agents had a “police” label on their uniforms as well as an agency insignia. DHS officials also told CNN on Thursday that a Customs and Border Protection team is headed to Seattle where it will remain on standby to help protect federal facilities.
The deployment of 75,000 federal officers would constitute the majority of all available agents. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ most recent data, there were about 100,000 federal law enforcement officers in the entire United States in 2016.