CHICAGO (CBS) — Nothing was off limits Monday as President Donald Trump unleashed a verbal attack on Chicago and CPD’s Police Superintendent <a href=”“>during his first trip to Chicago as president.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams was in the audience with police chiefs from around the country.
“There’s one person that’s not here today. We’re in Chicago. Where is he? I want to talk to him.”
And with that President Trump ripped the city hosting his visit, and went after Chicago’s police superintendent in a room full of Eddie Johnson’s fellow police chiefs.
“In fact more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something,” Trump said.
Superintendent Johnson last week said he would skip the president’s speech because he and Chicago don’t share Mr. Trump’s values.
“Eddie Johnson wants to talk about values. No. People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago, and those are his values. And frankly, his values to me are a disgrace,” Trump said.
Roughly 2,000 people were to there to hear the president’s address. Some cheered his criticism of Johnson. The president cited Chicago’s violent crime numbers: 565 murders last year,1,500 murders since Johnson became superintendent more than three years ago.
“He’s not doing his job,” Trump said, calling Chicago an embarrassment to the nation, more dangerous than Afghanistan.
Johnson, surrounded by his command staff, responded: “facts matter and everyone in this room knows it.”
Monday afternoon at police headquarters, Johnson said those numbers don’t tell the whole story. He cited double digit drops in gun crimes over the last three years.
“Since 2016, gun violence in the city is down by almost 40%. We made double-digit reductions in robberies, burglaries and auto thefts being at 20 year lows,” noted Johnson.
Security was tight wherever President Trump was on Monday, as it would be for any president. And that was noted by the superintendent.
“Today, the same police officers the president criticized for their inability to protect this city, spent all day protecting him.”
Several local politicians criticized the president after the speech, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who said Mr. Trump, in her words, “brought his insulting, ignorant, buffoonery to Chicago.”
The mayor also tweeted she stands by the superintendent.
It's no surprise that @realDonaldTrump brought his insulting, ignorant buffoonery to Chicago. 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.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) October 28, 2019