Rep. Rush Says Trump Agreed to Visit Chicago: Report - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rep. Rush Says Trump Agreed to Visit Chicago: Report

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Rep. Rush Says Trump Agreed to Visit Chicago: Report
    Getty Images
    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald J. Trump (C) delivers his first address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) listen on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)

    Rep. Bobby Rush said President Donald Trump agreed to visit Chicago before delivering his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

    “The legislator said the nation’s chief executive agreed to visit the city, which has been under a national spotlight after Trump threatened to ‘send in the feds’ to curb violence,” Rush’s office told the Sun-Times.

    Trump reportedly agreed to visit the city after Rush caught the president moments before his address to Congress. A White House spokesperson could not confirm the trip.

    During Tuesday's speech, Trump once again pointed to Chicago’s surging violence.

    “In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone — and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher,” Trump said.

    Chicago saw 103 homicides in the first two months of 2017. Last year, there were 102 killings in the same time period, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Rush’s office reportedly disputed Trump’s claim, saying the president "assailed Chicago’s shooting rate by erroneously stating the current [year] had already surpassed last year’s numbers."

    Since being sworn into office in January, Trump has repeatedly bemoaned violence in Chicago, comparing the city’s violence to that of the Middle East and threatening to “send in the Feds” if local officials can’t get a handle on the “carnage.”

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged the president last month to supply the city with additional federal resources to quell the ongoing violence.

    “Just send them,” Emanuel told reporters. “Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents. We don’t have to talk about it anymore."

    Weeks later, Emanuel met in Washington with members of Trump’s senior staff to discuss how the federal government can help address the city’s violence. During the trip, Emanuel also discussed Chicago’s violent crime with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner was noticeably absent Monday as Trump highlighted the situation in Chicago during a White House speech to the nation’s other 49 governors.

    “You look what’s happening in Chicago,” Trump told members of the National Governors Association. " What’s going on in Chicago? We will fight violent crime and we will win. And we will win that one fairly quickly. Once we give the police, local law enforcement the right to go in and fight it and we back them monetarily and also otherwise.”

    Ahead of his first speech to Congress Tuesday, Trump vowed to increase federal spending to “fight violent crime” in the country.

    Despite meeting in Washington this weekend with members of the Republican Governors Association, Rauner chose to skip the NGA meetings for the second straight year. Rauner opted out of Monday’s activities, which included meetings about the nation’s health care system, as well as Sunday's annual Govenor’s Ball, where Trump hosted 46 governors at the White House.

    Nevertheless, the governor, who was at Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital Monday announcing plans to improve the state’s Medicaid services, said he has been in contact with the Trump administration.

    “I have personally been in communications with members of the Trump administration… On violence issues, the folks who are developing the policy,” Rauner said without offering details on the policy or the people he’s been in touch with.

    “I’ll meet with the president any time,” Rauner said. “As I’ve mentioned, I’ve talked with him on the phone. I have a very close working relationship vice president Pence, many leaders in the transition team."

    Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android