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Trump visits Kenosha to survey damage, participate in 'safety roundtable'

President will not visit Jacob Blake or his family
Trump to visit Kenosha on Tuesday to survey damage, participate in 'safety roundtable'
Posted at 5:50 AM, Sep 01, 2020

President Donald Trump is visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, which was the site of both peaceful protests and riots last week following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The protests have mostly been peaceful in the city in the last few days. However, some politicians fear that Trump's visit could stoke embers of emotion and spark more violence in the nights to come.

Trump's visit takes place against the wishes of both Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Kenosha Mayor Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian — both Democrats — who say that emotions in the city are still too raw.

"We want everything to calm down," Antaramian said in a press conference on Monday. "We want to give people an opportunity to talk before the president comes into town."

During press availability on Monday, Trump said it was important to visit the law enforcement agents and national guardsmen and thank them for bringing order to the city, adding that his visit could "increase love and respect for our country."

Republican lawmakers in the state, including Rep. Bryan Steil, welcome the President's visit.

"Many men and women stood up to help provide that public safety in Kenosha, and the President is coming to say thank you," Steil said.

While in Kenosha, Trump is not scheduled to visit Blake or his family. The President said Monday that he spoke with the family's pastor in the hopes of setting up a call with Blake and his family, but said the pastor requested a lawyer be on the line during the call, which he thought was "inappropriate."

Instead, Trump will survey the damage in the city, tour an emergency operations center and participate in a "safety roundtable" before returning to Washington. During a press conference on Monday, Trump said he felt it was important to thank national guardsmen and police.

"I have to see the people that did such a good job for me," Trump said on Monday.