President Donald Trump once again criticized Chicago’s violence Wednesday during an “African American History Month listening session” at the White House.
During the event, Trump said Chicago’s violence is “totally out of control."
“We’re gonna have to do something about Chicago because what’s happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country,” Trump said.
Trump’s response was prompted by a comment from Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor who campaigned for the Republican. Scott said some of Chicago’s “top gang thugs” reached out to him due to his ties to Trump, who they “respect.”
“They want to have a sit-down about lowering that body count,” Scott said, "So in a couple of weeks, we’re going into Chicago.”
“They’re gonna commit that if they lower their body count, we'll come in and we’ll do some social programs,” he added.
Scott told Trump that the Chicago gang bangers “want to work with this administration.”
“They believe in this administration," Scott said. "They didn’t believe in the prior administration."
Trump called Scott’s proposal a “great idea,” but continued to threaten federal intervention in the city.
“If they’re not gonna solve the problem, and what you’re doing is the right thing, then we’re gonna solve the problem for them,” Trump said.
Trump repeatedly bemoaned Chicago’s violence on the campaign trail and has continued since taking office last month. On Jan. 24, Trump tweeted that he would “send in the Feds” if local authorities can’t get a grip on the city's “carnage.”
Last month, before being sworn-in as president, Trump sent a similar tweet, claiming Mayor Rahm Emanuel should seek “federal help” if Chicago officials can't get a handle on the city's surging violent crime.
On Wednesday, Emanuel urged the president to send in federal aid.
"Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents," Emanuel said during a press conference. "We don't have to talk about it anymore. Just send them."
When asked if Emanuel wanted the president to visit the city, he simply said, "No."
"What I would really like is the federal resources," Emanuel said.
The mayor's comments follow the release of January crime statistics, which showed 51 killed last month alone, an increase over the numbers seen in 2016. Police also reported 234 shooting incidents, with 299 victims, an increase of eight compared to January 2016.