U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee during the final event of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, August 27, 2020.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement officials in the city days after a Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot in the back seven times by a White police officer and paralyzed.
The White House confirmed that the president would travel to the Wisconsin city on Saturday evening after the president suggested that he would “probably” make the trip. Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said no meeting between the president and Jacob Blake’s family had yet been confirmed.
Blake, 29, was shot during an arrest Aug. 23 that was caught on tape and sparked protests against police violence. During demonstrations two days later, two protesters were fatally shot. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old, has been arrested and charged with their murders. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating Blake’s shooting.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family, said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday morning that his clients had not yet been contacted by the White House, but that “we will see,” noting that Blake’s family was “very respectful of all elected officials.” The Blake family spoke with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris for about an hour, Crump said.
Lara Trump, a campaign advisor and the wife of the president’s son Eric Trump, said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Trump had reached out to the Blake family, but noted that she was unsure if the two sides had yet been able to connect.
The president’s visit to Wisconsin, a key swing state that he narrowly won in 2016, comes as the president trails former Vice President Biden in national surveys of November’s presidential contest. A CNBC/Change Research poll from earlier in August found Biden leading Trump narrowly in Wisconsin, 49-46, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4%.
Trump has sought to gain the upper hand against Biden on issues of law and order, and has framed the widespread protests against police brutality in Portland, Oregon, Kenosha and other cities as illustrations of the weakness of local Democratic officials.
During his Thursday address to the Republican National Convention, Trump warned that a Biden victory could unleash “violent anarchists, agitators and criminals.”
Trump has said little about Blake’s shooting, though he said Friday that he was “looking into it very strongly” and that he had seen video of the arrest.
“I’ll be getting reports, and I’ll certainly let you know pretty soon,” Trump said. “But, it was not a good sight. I didn’t like the sight of it, certainly. And, I think most people would agree with that.”