Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused President Donald Trump of targeting Democratic, female mayors in larger U.S. cities with "misogynistic and racist rants" after the president wrote a letter to her on the city's increasing violence.
"What's abundantly clear over this last month in particular, there's some obvious dots to connect as part of his regular rotation of criticisms," Lightfoot said during an unrelated press conference Monday. "He has started attacking and trying to undermine every big city Democratic mayor, especially the women."
Among the female leaders Lightfoot cited in her message were Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. and Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle.
"But I've got a message for them and for him in the common theme in these misogynistic and racist rants: the thing you need to remember, Mr. President, we are all tough women, and we're not going to take any stuff from anybody," Lightfoot continued. "Even if his name starts with Mr. President. I will always, I will always honor the office of the president, but please do not ask me to honor this occupant because I do not."
Trump on Friday penned a letter to Chicago's mayor and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urging action to combat gun violence in the city and condemning their leadership.
In the letter, the president said while he has been heartened to see crime reductions nationally the last few years, he has "been horrified by the continued violence in this Great American city."
"Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect," the president said in his letter to Lightfoot and Pritzker. "I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement."
The president also called on the mayor and governor to put partisanship aside and work with him to revitalize distressed neighborhoods.
"But to succeed, you must establish law and order," he said. "...Unfortunately, you continue to put your own political interests ahead of the lives, safety, and fortunes of your own citizens.The people of Chicago deserve better."
In response to President Trump's letter, Lightfoot tweeted Friday night that she doesn't need leadership lesson from Donald Trump.
On Monday, Lightfoot shared a list of things the president could do that would "actually be really helpful in Chicago."
Among them were to "stop trying to kill off the Affordable Care Act," to use federal funding to build affordable housing, to support the reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act, to support immigrant and refugee communities, to provide funding for the Heroes Act and more. Lightfoot, who is Chicago's first gay, black female mayor, also called on Trump to to "stop demonizing members of the LGBTQ plus community," of which I am a proud member.
"Our rights also matter. We need support in our communities stop demonizing us," she said.
She also targeted the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"There is this thing called COVID-19, Mr. President," she said. "It is real, it is deadly, and you have utterly failed to lead in this crisis of a lifetime. But we will continue getting it done here in the city of Chicago and across the country, because that's what mayor's do. We lead."