Protests have continued unabated in Wisconsin since Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by police officers, reinvigorating demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality that kicked off at the beginning of the summer following the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
According to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, President Donald Trump still hasn’t spoken to members of Blake’s family, saying the administration has tried to reach out to them.
“We are efforting outreach, have not been able to connect yet. So tomorrow the plan is so far to go and to meet with law enforcement and to look at the damage from the riots, but we are holding his family close to our hearts,” McEnany said.
Trump plans to visit Kenosha, the site of the shooting, and earlier this morning he insisted that he saved the city from being destroyed during protests by insisting the National Guard be called in to quell violence.
“If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now,” Trump claimed. “Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!”
If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now. Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2020
The president’s claim is misleading. In fact, Governor Tony Evers (D) ordered the National Guard into Kenosha to quell violence.
Last week, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Evers had refused the assistance of the National Guard.
“We have a National Guard standing by that if the general for the National Guard needs additional help, we’re there to do it,” Meadows said at the time. “But today, that request was denied by the governor.”
Though Evers did speak with Meadows and Trump, Meadows reportedly offered federal assistance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and not the National Guard.
“The governor informed them that we would be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19,” Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said.