“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
The White House
released the presidential memorandum on Wednesday, which said, in part:
It is the policy and purpose of the United States Government to protect the lives and property of all people in the United States from unlawful acts of violence and destruction. Without law and order, democracy cannot function. Americans cannot exercise their rights, including their rights to peaceful expression, assembly, and protest. Property is destroyed, and innocent citizens are injured or killed.
Unfortunately, anarchy has recently beset some of our States and cities. For the past few months, several State and local governments have contributed to the violence and destruction in their jurisdictions by failing to enforce the law, disempowering and significantly defunding their police departments, and refusing to accept offers of Federal law enforcement assistance. As a result of these State and local government policies, persistent and outrageous acts of violence and destruction have continued unabated in many of America’s cities, such as Portland, Seattle, and New York
My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones. To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities. It is also critical to ensure that Federal grants are used effectively, to safeguard taxpayer dollars entrusted to the Federal Government for the benefit of the American people.
The memorandum specifically called out Seattle, Portland, and New York City, prompting a joint statement from Jenny Durkan, Ted Wheeler, and Bill de Blasio, respectively.
“Our cities, and the millions of Americans who we represent, are not President Trump’s political pawns. We are confronting unprecedented challenges–fighting back a pandemic and economic devastation without another stimulus. Now, instead of leadership from the White House, we are faced with new attacks that are unlawful, unconstitutional and will be undoubtedly defeated in court. President Trump needs to wake up to the reality facing our cities–and our entire country–and realize he is not above the law,” the statement said.
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