Appearing Tuesday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) blamed President Donald Trump for her city’s ongoing gun violence, claiming the crisis is a “direct result” of failed leadership by the federal government.
Chicago’s mayor blames Trump for her city’s soaring murder rate:
“If the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence, he would do some easy things … He would push to make sure that people who were banned from getting on airplanes can’t get guns." pic.twitter.com/2S0idD0yQd
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 14, 2020
A partial transcript is as follows:
ANDREA MITCHELL: I want to also ask you about the violence this past weekend in Chicago, at least 60 shootings. The president jumped all over this, comparing it to — saying the city is worse than Afghanistan. your reaction as you’re trying to come to grips with all of this?
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT: Well, look, if you go back over many years, President Trump has said a lot of disparaging things about the city of Chicago. He likes to use us as a political punching bag. But if the president was really committed to helping us deal with our violence, he would do some easy things. One is, he would push for universal background checks. He would push for an assault weapons ban. He would push to make sure that people who were banned from getting on airplanes can’t get guns. This is the kind of thing that federal leadership can do. […]
As long as we are challenged with having states surrounding us, notably Indiana, that has very lax gun laws, where somebody can drive across the border and literally load up a vehicle with military-grade weapons and bring them back to the city of Chicago, we’re going to continue to be challenged,” she continued. “We’re doing an all-hands-on-deck strategy. We’re really focusing on the root causes of the violence. But fundamentally we have too many illegal guns on our street, and that is a direct result of a failure of federal leadership, which is why we need change in November. And we need the kind of leadership that Joe Biden is going to bring to our country.
Lightfoot’s remarks come after at least 60 people were shot, 13 fatally, over the weekend in Chicago. NBC News recently reported that shootings in the Windy City have soared 76 percent since last year, while “nearly all the bloodshed [is] concentrated in the city’s predominantly Black and brown communities on the South and West Sides.”
On Independence Day weekend, at least 70 were shot, 14 fatally, in Chicago.
Earlier July, President Trump offered federal assistance to help combat Chicago and New York City’s surging gun crime.
The president wrote on Twitter at the time: Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up. 67 people shot in Chicago, 13 killed. Shootings up significantly in NYC where people are demanding that @NYGovCuomo & @NYCMayor act now. Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!”