Chicago Violence

Trump Calls Lightfoot Wednesday Night to Confirm Federal Aid to Chicago

The conversation was brief and straightforward, according to Lightfoot's office

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President Donald Trump called Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Wednesday night to confirm his plans to send federal aid to the city to supplement ongoing federal investigations regarding violent crime.

The mayor's office said in a statement that Lightfoot continues to address these resources will be investigatory in nature and coordinated through the U.S. Attorney's office.

"The mayor has made clear that if there is any deviation from what has been announced, we will pursue all available legal options to protect Chicagoans," the mayor's office said.

The conversation was brief and straightforward, according to Lightfoot's office.

Trump announced Wednesday he will send a "surge" of federal agents to Chicago as part of a plan to combat "violent crime."

"Frankly, we have no choice," he said during a speech from the White House Wednesday, announcing that the Department of Justice will send hundreds of agents from the DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Homeland Security and FBI to the city to "help drive down violent crime."

The move is part of the so-called "Operation Legend," which was launched in Kansas City, Missouri earlier this year, Trump said. Agents will also be deployed to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Perhaps no citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago," Trump said.

The announcement wasn't unexpected as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot confirmed Tuesday that federal agents were being sent to the city. So far, she said, the city doesn't "see a Portland-style deployment coming" and as of now, the Trump administration will not be deploying "unnamed agents" to Chicago's streets.

"It's too soon to be able to say if this is a value add or not," she said following Trump's announcement Wednesday.

Trump's remarks come less than 24 hours after Chicago saw a mass shooting at a funeral that left 15 people wounded. Hours later, a 3-year-old girl was shot in the head while riding in her family's car in the city's South Shore neighborhood.

"Chicago, help is on its way," Trump said.

Speculation first began after Trump tweeted over the weekend what some took as a veiled comment that federal help could be sent to multiple cities, including Chicago.

"Look at Portland, where the pols are just fine with 50 days of anarchy," he tweeted. "We sent in help. Look at New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. NO!"

The Trump administration deployed militarized federal agents to Portland despite protests from local officials.

The mayor of Portland demanded Friday that Trump remove the agents after some detained people on streets far from federal property they were sent to protect. The ACLU of Oregon said the federal agents appear to be violating people's rights, which “should concern everyone in the United States.”

According to Lightfoot, one major difference between what is now expected in Chicago and the deployment that made headlines in Portland is that agents being sent to the city will be in contact with and partially managed by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch.

"In Portland they ignored the U.S. Attorney, put these agents on the street and I don't think anyone can quibble with the fact that what happened was not only unconstitutional, it was undemocratic," Lightfoot said at the start of an unrelated press conference Tuesday.

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