Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday ripped President Donald Trump, saying he’s fomenting violence and playing to racist urges for political gain in response to the killing of a black man by a Minneapolis police officer and subsequent rioting.
Lightfoot’s comments were an apparent response to Trump tweeting a message that included “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to rioting in Minneapolis and elsewhere following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck while he was in custody. Lightfoot said the president cannot be allowed to divide and destabilize the country.
“He wants to show failures on the part of Democratic local leaders, to throw red meat to his base,” Lightfoot said in opening remarks at an afternoon news conference. “His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. We can absolutely not let him prevail. And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words. It begins with F and it ends with U.”
Asked later whether she should have used that language toward Trump, in light of Michelle Obama’s “when they go low, we go high” mantra, Lightfoot didn’t back down.
“I don’t take the bait every time, but this time, when we are suffering pain and trauma at the killing of a black man in the street, to try to, for political gain, and blow the dog whistle to his base, I’m a black woman, and a leader, and I feel an obligation to speak out when something as offensive as that is said by anyone, but particularly the president,” she said. “And I make no apologies whatsoever for my word choice, and the way in which I’m calling him out for what he said.”
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