Sept. 1 — President Donald Trump will make a controversial visit to Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, where he plans to tour scenes of unrest that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Trump is scheduled to arrive in Wisconsin around noon CDT and Kenosha a half-hour later. After touring the protest sites, he plans to visit the city’s emergency operations center and attend a roundtable on community safety at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday the president wants to thank law enforcement and “go to cities where Americans are hurting.”
Trump later told reporters at he wasn’t planning to meet with Blake’s family.
“I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved,” he said. “They wanted me to speak but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn’t do that.”
Blake’s family will hold a “peaceful community gathering” at the site of the shooting during Trump’s visit, including a community clean-up and voter registration drive. Blake remains hospitalized from the Aug. 23 shooting and is paralyzed, relatives said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian have opposed Trump’s visit, concerned that it will only fan flames of prejudice and sow more division.
Evers on Sunday urged Trump to “reconsider” the visit.
“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” he wrote in a letter. “I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”
In a speech from Pennsylvania on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Trump is “stoking violence in our cities” and is “incapable of healing.”
Two days after Blake was shot, police say two activists were shot dead by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a member of a self-proclaimed militia group. He’s charged with their deaths.
Trump defended Rittenhouse Monday, saying he was trying to get away from protesters when he fired his automatic weapon.
“I guess he was in very big trouble,” he said. “He would have been, he probably would have been killed.”
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