Rep. Bobby Rush responded to Donald Trump’s tweet about violent crime in Chicago Tuesday, inviting the president-elect to tour his congressional district, which includes much of the city’s South Side.
In his tweet, Trump bemoaned the city’s violence, asserting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel should “ask for federal help” if local authorities can’t handle the crisis.
“We welcome all the help we can get,” Rush tweeted. “Come visit my district.”
Data made available by the Chicago Police Department shows 2016 was one of the most violent years in the city since the mid ‘90s. In total, Chicago saw 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims in 2016.
Over the course of the campaign, Trump repeatedly referenced Chicago’s violent crime.
“In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings — thousands — since January first,” Trump said during the first presidential debate in September. “And I’m saying, ‘Where is this? Is this a war-torn country? What are we doing?’”
The Chicago City Council voted in November to remove honorary “Trump Plaza” street signs near the president-elect’s riverfront hotel and condominium tower, putting an exclamation mark on officials’ decision to slight Trump in retaliation for his divisive rhetoric about the city.
Mayor Emanuel’s office responded to Trump’s tweet Monday, signaling a working relationship between the mayor and the president- elect. Emanuel met with Trump last month in New York City, delivering a letter from mayors across the country calling for protections for young immigrants.
"As the president-elect knows from his conversation with the mayor, we agree the federal government has a strong role to play in public safety by funding summer jobs and prevention programming for at-risk youth, by holding the criminals who break our gun laws accountable for their crimes, by passing meaningful gun laws, and by building on the partnerships our police have with federal law enforcement," Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said in a statement.
“We are heartened he is taking this issue seriously and look forward to working with the new administration on these important efforts,” Collins added.