President Donald Trump met with the leaders of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) on Friday to show his support for law enforcement.
The president met with the officials for nearly an hour in the Cabinet Room of the White House, listening to their concerns about the recent efforts by Democrats to defund police departments.
Trump praised the police, reminding them they have the support of the “silent majority” of the American people.
“You have tremendous public support,” he said.
NAPO endorsed the president on July 15, abandoning its previous support of former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama in the 2008 election.
“I was very honored to receive the endorsement,” Trump said.
He expressed surprise that Biden had moved so far left on issues of law and order.
“This guy has been dragged so far left. Biden has been taken further left than Bernie ever was,” Trump said, noting that the former vice president supported a “manifesto” agenda with socialist Democrat leaders.
The president highlighted his own efforts to sustain law and order in the country, including the ongoing effort by federal officers in Portland to defend a courthouse in the city.
“The ones that were the problem were absolute anarchists, in many cases professionals,” Trump said, praising Acting Secretary of Department of Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf and his agents for their response.
Trump said he was fully prepared to send agents into Seattle to end the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP or CHAZ) occupation force but that they surrendered before federal forces could be deployed.
“They heard that we were going in. … By that time, the anarchists were exhausted, and they just raised their hands. They were exhausted and tired, and they had a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol, and they just gave up. They just raised their hands,” he said.
Trump noted that the rioters continued to attack police with Molotov cocktails, large blocks of ice, and even cans of soup.
“As a result of the outrageous attacks on law enforcement, violent crime has surged in certain Democrat-run cities,” Trump said.
The president referred to ongoing violence in New York City, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Seattle. He blamed the surge in violence on Democrats criticizing law enforcement and threatening to defund them.
He singled out New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to support police officers.
“I think the cops in New York have got to get tough again,” Trump said.
“They want to,” one of the officials responded.
One leader said that local Democrats were taking away their crowd control tools, such as tear gas and police dogs.
The president joked with New Jersey State troopers about being pulled over for speeding.
“I know those great troopers on the highway,” he said. “They’ve pulled me over on occasion for speeding.”