Donald Trump plans to visit Wisconsin after Jacob Blake shooting
MILWAUKEE – President Donald Trump plans to visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from a week of unrest in the Wisconsin city, according to a White House pool report.
No other details were immediately available about the visit, which was announced Saturday night. The announcement comes a day after Trump addressed the Kenosha Police Department’s shooting of Jacob Blake for the first time.
But, on Sunday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to Trump urging him to “reconsider” the visit. He said the past week has been “particularly difficult” and community across the state are dealing with “extraordinary grief.”
Evers said Kenosha is “exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community,” but is also working to rebuild.
“I, along with other community leaders who have reached out, are concerned about what your presence will mean for Kenosha and our state,” Evers wrote. “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”
After a rally in New Hampshire on Friday, Trump said of the shooting: “It was not a good sight. I didn’t like the sight of it, certainly, and I think most people would agree with that,” according to CNN.
Trump referenced Kenosha during the Republican National Convention but did not make specific remarks about the shooting that left Blake, 29, paralyzed from the waist down after being shot seven times in the back at point-blank range by Officer Rusten Sheskey on Aug. 23.
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Earlier Saturday during a news conference, Trump was asked if he would visit the city, and he said “probably so” because of the presence of National Guard troops.
“With Kenosha it’s been in very, very good shape from the moment they set foot in that area,” he said.
National Guard troops first arrived in Kenosha on Monday, but unrest persisted in the city the following two nights. On Tuesday night, two people were shot to death and a third was injured. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois, has been charged in connection to the killings.
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When asked about that shooting Saturday, Trump said he would comment on it in 24 to 48 hours after receiving more information.
Kenosha has seen peaceful demonstrations in recent days, continuing into Saturday evening after a Blake family march that drew thousands of participants and onlookers.
Meanwhile, the number of National Guard troops in Kenosha has swelled to more than 1,000, with troops from Michigan, Alabama and Arizona on the way, according to Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp.
Evers detailed the amount of National Guard troops and work of emergency responders in his letter to Trump.
Evers wrote he is concerned an in-person visit from Trump “will require a massive redirection” of resource to support his visit “at a time when it is critical that we continue to remain focused on keeping the people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response.”
Follow Elliot Hughes on Twitter @elliothughes12
Contributing: Jordan Culver, USA TODAY