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Trump Slams 'Out Of Control' Chicago Again During Black History Month Event

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Feb 1, 2017 4:50PM

Getty Images / Photo: Pool

President Donald Trump took yet another opportunity to slam Chicago's violence rate during a so-called listening session at the White House in honor of the start of Black History Month.

Sitting at a table of black community leaders, many of whom work in Trump's administration, Darrell Scott, a Pastor of Ohio's New Spirit Revival Center and a member of Trump's transition team, told the president that "top gang thugs" in Chicago had reached out to him personally due to his affiliation with Trump.

"I was recently contacted by some of the top gang thugs in Chicago for a sit down, they reached out to me because they associated me with you, they respect you, they believe in what you're doing, and they want to have a sit down about that body count," he said. "So in a couple of weeks I'm going to go to Chicago ... straight street guys, they're going to commit that if they lower that body count, we're going to go in and bring them some social programs. They want to work with this administration."

"They reached out, I didn't reach out to them," he added. "They didn't believe in the prior administration."

Trump responded to Scott's comments approvingly.

"We're going to have to do something about Chicago, because what's happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country," he said.

Calling the city's violence “totally out of control,” Trump added that, if Chicagoans don't curb the city's violence problem themselves, "we'll solve the problem for them." Trump, who Tweeted last week that he would possibly "send in the feds" to Chicago, has been very low on details about how exactly he would help "solve" Chicago's decades-long, entrenched gun and gang violence problems. But some have interpreted his comments to mean he would send the National Guard to Chicago.

During the listening session, Trump also called out CNN's journalism, labelling the news organization "fake news," and noting that he doesn't watch CNN. He also said his Supreme Court nomination Neil Gorsuch would be approved "very very quickly," and that HHS secretary nominee Ben Carson would help lower violence in the "inner cities."

Perhaps most perplexingly, Trump made a nod toward Black History, the actual subject of the event, by describing 19th Century abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass as "an example of somebody who's done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more."

A Toronto Star reporter published a transcript of Trump's remarks, below:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a new conference on Wednesday said Trump should "just sent them" in response to the president's latest dig.

"Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents," Emanuel said, according to NBC. "We don't have to talk about it anymore. Just send them." Emanuel said "no" when asked if he wants Trump to come to Chicago, adding "What I would really like is the federal resources."

This post has been updated.