President Donald Trump participated in a town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia anchored by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday entitled “The President and the People.”
The president was talking about cities that are run by Democratic mayors and/or Democratically-controlled city councils when he called Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton speechwriter and aide, a Democrat.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Welcome back to our town meeting with President Trump. The next question comes from Alexander J. Floyd of Dallas, Pennsylvania. He voted for President Trump last time around.
QUESTION: Hello, Mr. Trump. My question is actually about police reform and how can we balance common sense police reform without sacrificing public safety in a — in a time when part of the country is calling to defund the police and actively cheering when they’re gunned down in the street and another part is tired of seeing the lawlessness?
TRUMP: So we have a great senator named Tim Scott from South Carolina and he had a plan that was very much of a compromised plan but it was a plan that everybody pretty much agreed to. A lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn’t vote for it.
And it was really good. It was a compromise of a lot of different factors and it didn’t get done and it should have gotten done. And it could still be out there, it could still be resurrected very easily but they just didn’t want to do it.
Because I think the Democrats are viewing this as a political issue and I probably agree with them. I think it’s very bad for them because we’re about law and order. We have to be about law and order, otherwise you’re going to see your cities burn and that’s the way it is.
If we can do a plan like Tim Scott’s plan, which is really — it goes far enough but it doesn’t take the dignity away from our police. We have incredible people. They’ve been protecting us for a long time. I mean we’re here and I feel very save being in this room. These are great people.
We can’t take their dignity away. We have to let them be able to do what they do better than anybody else. So I think we have to look at it that way. We have to — we have to be very, very careful.
Police are so afraid today that if they do something slightly wrong — slightly wrong and their pensions gone, their jobs gone, who knows what happens. Their live is ruined; their wife or their husband will leave. The whole thing, it’s a very scary thing to do.
And then you look at safety. I mean you look at that horrible human being that shot these two police cold, blank, right next — just a disgusting and then ran off. You look at that, this is a very tough job and it’s a very unsafe job, it’s a very dangerous job. We have to give them back their dignity and we have to give them back respect.
These are great people for the most part. There’s always going to be a bad apple in your business, in my business — no matter what, I mean there’s going to be bad apples. And we have to weed out the bad apples.
But we have to give — we have to give the police back that strength that they had a short while ago and that they have in Republican cities, frankly, and states. But you take a look, this is a Democrat problem, George.
I know you’re a Democrat but this is largely a Democrat — if you just take a look at the list. Every Democrat city, almost, not all but a lot of them, certainly in the top 25 even if you go to the top 50 — almost every city is run by the Democrats. People don’t respect our police and they have to respect —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, you — you promised four years ago at the Republican Convention, I’m going to restore law and order —
TRUMP: And I have, except in Democrat run cities. Look, we have laws. We have to go by the laws. We can’t move in the National Guard. I can call insurrection but there’s no reason to ever do that, even in a Portland case.
We can’t call in the National Guard unless we’re requested by a governor. If a governor or a mayor is a Democrat and they — like in Portland, we call them constantly. I just spoke to the governor yesterday because we’re giving them relief on the fires. We’re giving them a — an emergency declaration.
I say, Governor, let us go in and we’ll clean up Portland so fast. In a half an hour it’ll be all right. And she’s just torn by it. I don’t understand the thinking but they’re torn by it. I have a lot of respect for the governor frankly. The — and what happened in Minneapolis was pretty amazing.
Unfortunately, this went on for a week or a week and a half before he allowed us to bring in the National Guard. When we brought in the National Guard, everything stopped, the crime was gone meaning the whole thing. But by that time a big portion of the city was burned down.
You’re talking about Minneapolis. In Seattle, we let them know we’re coming in. They took over a big chunk of the city, 20 percent of the city. We said we’re coming in. As soon as we said that, the police department went in and these other people were exhausted.
But had we not said we’re going in — we were ready to go in. We were going in the following morning. Where ever you have a Democrat city — not in all cases, but if you look at the really troubled cities in our country, they’re Democrat-run and that’s Biden. They’re weak, they’re in effective.