Donald Trump

Supt. Eddie Johnson Responds to Trump's Tweet About Him

Trump tore into Johnson and the city's violence in a speech to law enforcement at the city's McCormick Place Monday

When asked to respond to a tweet from President Donald Trump criticizing him, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson asked a question.

"What's the point?" he told reporters during a news conference Friday. "I don't need to respond to him." 

Trump on Friday tweeted that the city's crime wave "will never stop" as long as Johnson is the police superintendent. The tweet came hours after a 7-year-old girl was shot while trick-or-treating in the city and at the same time the Chicago Police Department released its latest crime stats, revealing a decrease in murders and shootings compared to 2018. 

"I don't worry about any external stuff. I worry about what we have in front of us," Johnson said. "The fact of it is that numbers do matter. Facts matter and the facts are that we've steadily been bringing these numbers down over the past three years so that's what we need to focus on." 

The tweet marked the second time this week Trump has called out Chicago's top cop and the city's violence. The president tore into Johnson in a speech to law enforcement at the city's McCormick Place Monday.

"People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago, and those are his values and frankly those values to me are a disgrace," Trump told the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. 

"I want Eddie Johnson to change his values, and change them fast," he said. He then called Chicago's violence "embarrassing to us as a nation."

Johnson, who hosted the conference that Trump addressed, previously said he would not attend the speech because he thought the "values of the people of Chicago are more important" than what Trump would say. 

"I can't in good conscience stand by while racial insults and hatred are cast from the Oval Office or Chicago is held hostage because of our views on new Americans," Johnson said.

Johnson later held a press conference to respond to Trump's speech, which he admittedly didn't watch. 

"We have bigger challenges in this city than to be going back and forth about stuff like this," Johnson said. 

Johnson added the "national narrative that Chicago is a city on fire is just simply not true." 

"Facts matter," he said, touting three years straight of "double digit reduction" in crime and noting that there are "17 neighborhoods in this city that are safer than Manhattan and LA." 

"This president is known for doing a lot of talking about the city of Chicago, but if he's truly ready to roll up his sleeves to partner with us, so are we, as long as that partnership reflects who we are as Chicagoans," Johnson said.

Johnson also addressed Trump's comments on the city's status as a sanctuary city, saying his administration "has hurt many communities in Chicago."

"But CPD is here, and will always be here to stand up for them," Johnson said. "We're sworn to protect and safeguard everyone in Chicago no matter where you come from, who you love or what God you worship."

Following his speech on Monday, Trump signed an executive order at the conference a White House spokesman said would "address the root causes of crime and better train, recruit and retain law enforcement officers."

Trump's recent visit to Chicago was his first to the city since taking office, though he's long disparaged the city's violence and its Democratic leaders. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has counted herself among Trump's critics, taking to Twitter Monday to denounce his speech and voice support for Johnson. 

"It's no surprise that @realDonaldTrump brought his insulting, ignorant buffoonery to Chicago," Lightfoot tweeted. "Luckily, in this city, we know the truth and we will not let anyone — no matter how high the office — denigrate who we are as a people or our status as a welcoming city."

"Rather than belittle Chicago's communities with hateful and dishonest rhetoric, he needs to go back to D.C. and face his fate," she continued. "President Trump knows as much about policing as he does running a fair and transparent government. I stand by the Superintendent for living up to the values of this great city and its residents."

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