Democratic Mayors Respond to Trump's Feds Threat

Democratic mayors have responded to President Donald Trump's threat to deploy federal officers to their cities with a resounding message: keep your "secret police" off our streets.

On Monday, Trump threatened to expand the deployment of federal law enforcement from Portland to New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland.

The president made the threat despite already facing widespread backlash over the Portland deployments, which have seen one protester left seriously injured after being shot in the head with impact munitions. Others have been arrested by unidentifiable agents and forced into unmarked vans.

Still, Trump said, protesters and anarchists across the country have gotten "out of control."

"I'm going to do something, that I can tell you," he said. "We're not going to let New York, Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these—Oakland is a mess. We're not going to let this happen in our country. All run by liberal Democrats."

Those Democrats were quick to respond to the president's threat, with mayors in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Oakland making clear that federal forces would not be welcome in their cities.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed confusion around why the city was included in the list.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: 'We've seen the chaos'

In a tweet on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not let the scenes that have unfolded in Portland play out in his city.

"We've seen the chaos secret police are creating in Portland. We won't let it happen here," de Blasio said.

Speaking with Spectrum News NY1, de Blasio said sending in federal law enforcement agents "makes no sense."

"We have issues we have to work on here, but that's exactly what we're doing," he said. "And I have a lot of faith in the people of this city, more and more coming out to address our own challenges. I have a lot of faith in the NYPD but I do not have faith in the notion of just throwing in federal law enforcement for obviously political reasons-that always backfires."

The mayor also went further to say that the Trump administration's deployments have more to do with keeping the president in office than enforcing law and order and protecting government buildings.

"If he's trying to send in outside presence it's not because it's needed to protect those buildings," he said. "It's the same way he used ICE. He uses ICE as an extension of his reelection campaign, not to protect people. I have no illusions here. So we do not welcome it and it will not work."

It is unclear how the New York City mayor would go about preventing federal intervention. However, he said any time that Trump has tried to do things "that are illegal and unconstitutional," NYC has challenged him in court and come away victorious.

"And I think we'd see the same scenario here," de Blasio said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: 'I urge you not to do it'

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to repeated threats from Trump to deploy federal officers to her city with a letter condemning his "unhelpful" rhetoric and outlining ways that he could actually help Chicago combat high rates of gun violence.

The federal government has the "unique ability to step up in the following areas," she wrote, outlining how the Trump administration could push for common-sense gun law reform, as well as for community outreach and community investment.

Instead of creating "conflict and division," Lightfoot said, the Trump administration should be seeking to "unite us and collaborate."

Deploying "secret, federal agents who arrest, and detain residents without any cause" and depriving "those residents of due process is clearly unconstitutional," Lightfoot said.

"It is a bad idea and I urge you not to do it," the Chicago mayor wrote.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: 'We would...resist'

In a succinct statement published on Twitter, Philadelphia's mayor responded to Trump's threat by making clear that his city would "resist" attempts to deploy federal law enforcement to the city's streets.

"While the City of Philadelphia has not received any formal notification that federal agents will be sent here, we would use all available means to resist such an abuse of power," Kenney said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf: Send PPE, not police

In an interview with ABC7's Midday Live, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the city did not need "law enforcement," but could use more federal assistance in the bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"I don't need law enforcement in Oakland, I need testing, I need personal protective equipment," Schaaf said. "We need direct income support for people who are out of work, that's what we need. This president seems to confuse a political bent."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom also rejected Trump's apparent suggestion of sending law enforcement to Oakland.

"The answer is no, and we would reject it," Newsom said.

Confusion in Detroit

While other mayors have quickly condemned the potential plan to deploy federal law enforcement to their cities, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's office expressed confusion around why the Michigan city was included on Trump's list in the first place.

"Detroit is one of the few large cities in the country that has experienced no fires, no stores looted and never requested the National Guard during the protests," John Roach, a spokesperson for Duggan, told The Detroit Free Press on Monday. "Not sure where the president is getting his information."

Whitmer, meanwhile, said Trump's threat showed he does not "know the first thing about Detroit."

"Today, President Trump threatened to send federal law enforcement into many cities, including Detroit," Whitmer said on Monday. "Frankly, he doesn't know the first thing about Detroit. If he did, he'd know Detroiters gathered to peacefully protest the systemic racism that Black Americans face every day."

Newsweek has contacted the White House and mayors' offices for comment.

Trump Oval Office
President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting Republican Congressional leaders and members of his cabinet in the Oval Office at the White House July 20, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The president appeared to threaten to send federal law enforcement to Democrat-led cities amid unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death. Doug Mills-Pool/Getty