Donald Trump slams BLM protests, says Chicago is worse than Afghanistan: 'It's like living in hell'
The president blamed 'Democrat-run cities' saying the opposition party 'doesn't love our country'
President Donald Trump on Thursday, June 25, gave a no-holds-barred interview to Fox News' Sean Hannity where he spoke on a plethora of issues that have turned the US into a tinderbox. Addressing the protest issues that have hit cities across the country in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis last month, Trump said living in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland was “like living in hell” and sought stop-and-frisk tactics to curb crime.
"Chicago is an example, it is worse than Afghanistan," Trump said about the city where local officials too were disappointed with the protests and lawlessness. The president blamed the "Democrat-run cities" saying the opposition party "doesn't love our country". However, earlier in June, it was Chicago's Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot who slammed rioters as "f***ing lawless" in a meeting with the city's panic-stricken officials who felt the city was "worse than it was in 1968" when a serious riot broke out in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The Republican president, however, felt that the Democrats were destroying the US.
Chicago murder rates drop
Chicago drew Trump's ire especially after it witnessed 18 murders on May 31, making it the deadliest day in the city’s history in the last 60 years. On May 30, the day before, six were killed, taking the total death toll of that weekend to 24. Fox News, however, reported that despite the bloodbath in late May, the overall murder rate in Chicago went down over the past few years. Chicago, the third-largest city in the US, witnessed 490 murders in 2019, less than 564 the year before and way below 756 recorded in 2016.
Two other cities — Baltimore and Detroit — which are smaller than Chicago and are Democrat-ruled — have seen murder rates spiking this year. Baltimore has seen 159 murders till now while Detroit saw a 30-percent rise in homicides as recorded on June 18 with 129 killings.
Trump backed police departments across the country to use stop-and-frisk tactics to get weapons off the street although he conceded that it was controversial. He even praised his personal attorney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and the local police departments for using the same in the 1990s. "It's very controversial to stay, stop and frisk," Trump said. "You take guns away... Rudy Giuliani was a great mayor. He did it in New York."
In February, Trump slammed another former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat, for defending stop-and-frisk policing of minorities, saying it was "total racist".
The president has also been critical of Seattle officials during the interview when he warned of intervening in the city’s autonomous protest zones if the protesters, who he called "anarchists" recently, did not back down. He also warned protesters when they tried to replicate the same in Washington DC recently and tried to bring down a statue of former president Andrew Jackson, who Trump calls one of his personal favorites.