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Trump: Chicago Is 'Like A War Zone,' Too 'Politically Correct' To Fix 'Carnage'

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 26, 2017 3:52PM

Getty Images / Photo: Chip Somodevilla

One day after President Donald Trump threatened to “send in the Feds” to stop the “carnage” of Chicago violence, the president said in a Wednesday interview with ABC the city was “like a war zone” and might have to be less “politically correct” to bring down violent crime. Trump also held up Chicago as an example of the supposed voter fraud that he claims—without evidence—cost him the popular vote.

Trump’s initial tweet left local law enforcement and government baffled as to what exactly “send in the feds” meant. When asked by interviewer David Muir to clarify, Trump again called the violence “carnage,” compared the city to Afghanistan, but again didn’t fully elucidate what he intended by federal intervention. “I will send in what we have to send in,” Trump said.

Trump told Muir:

"It's carnage. You know, in my speech I got tremendous -- from certain people the word carnage. It is carnage. It's horrible carnage. This is Afghanistan -- is not like what's happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right. Thousands of people over a period -- over a short period of time.

This year, which has just started, is worse than last year, which was a catastrophe. They're not doing the job. Now if they want help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in. Maybe they're not gonna have to be so politically correct. Maybe they're being overly political correct. Maybe there's something going on. But you can't have those killings going on in Chicago. Chicago is like a war zone. Chicago is worse than some of the people that you report in some of the places that you report about every night."

Asked if Trump would (legally dubiously) “take action on his own,” Trump said he wants to fix the problem, but then added “they gotta fix the problem.”

Trump said Chicago “is a great city,” but then quickly corrected himself: “It can't be a great city if people are shot walking down the street for a loaf of bread. Can't be a great city.”

Trump went on to claim that two people were shot and killed in Chicago while Barack Obama delivered his farewell address.

“So, all I'm saying is to the mayor who came up to my office recently -- I say, "You have to smarten up and you have to toughen up because you can't let that happen. That's a war zone."

According to FBI figures, Chicago does not rank in the top ten U.S. cities in terms of murder rate per capita.

Earlier in the interview, when asked about Trump's unsubstantiated claim that voter fraud cost him the popular vote, the president again pointed to Chicago as a example and implied that Obama was aware of fraud in the city but did not take it seriously. "[H]e was smiling and laughing about the vote in Chicago," Trump said.

Trump told Muir, about election fraud:

"And [Obama] was laughing at the system because he knew all of those votes were going to him. You look at Philadelphia, you look at what's going on in Philadelphia. But take a look at the tape of Barack Obama who wrote me, by the way, a very beautiful letter in the drawer of the desk. Very beautiful. And I appreciate it. But look at what he said, it's on tape. Look at what he said about voting in Chicago eight years ago. It's not changed. It hasn't changed, believe me. Chicago, look what's going on in Chicago. It's only gotten worse.

But he was smiling and laughing about the vote in Chicago. Now, once he became president he didn't do that. All of a sudden it became this is the foundation of our country. So, here's the point, you have a lot of stuff going on possibly. I say probably. But possibly. We're gonna get to the bottom of it."

The interview aired just hours after Trump signed an executive order calling for plans to strip federal funds from sanctuary cities, like Chicago, which don't assist federal agencies in identifying and deporting undocumented immigrants. Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to remain a sanctuary city despite the executive action,