President Donald Trump suggested that as many as 75,000 federal agents could be activated in cities across the country to stop a surge in violence and said that stronger measures are going to be needed in the future after he made an announcement to deploy officers in Chicago and Albuquerque.
The administration has so far deployed federal agents in Chicago, Albuquerque, and Kansas City to combat a rise in crime and shootings in recent weeks. Other agents have been deployed in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle following protests, demonstrations, and violent riots allegedly sparked by far-left agitators, drawing condemnation from local officials.
“We will go into all of the cities, any of the cities. We’re ready,” Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Thursday night. “We will put in 50,000, 60,000 people that really know what they’re doing. And they’re strong. They’re tough. And we could solve these problems so fast.”
Trump added that federal officials “have to be invited in” for the time being, but “at some point, we’re going to have to do something that’s much stronger than being invited in, but we have to be invited in.”
The president said that many leaders of the country’s biggest cities are run by “very liberal Democrats” or in some cases, the “radical left.”
“If they invited us in, we’d go in with 50,000, 75,000 people,” he later added. “We would be able to solve it like you wouldn’t believe, and quick. But they just don’t want to ask, maybe for political reasons. But they don’t want to ask. It’s a disgrace.”
A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 132,000 law enforcement officers are employed by the federal government in 83 agencies.
“About two-thirds of all full-time federal law enforcement officers worked for either Customs and Border Protection (33%), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (14%), the FBI (10%), or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (9%),” the agency says.
Trump said in the interview that he and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot agreed to the deployment of federal officers.
“I spoke with the mayor of Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot, and had a great talk. But within minutes after that talk—you just reported it tonight—a couple of more people were shot. Young, very young children were shot,” the president remarked.
The Democratic mayor’s office said Trump “reached out to Mayor Lightfoot this evening to confirm that he plans to send federal resources to Chicago to supplement ongoing federal investigations pertaining to violent crime,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “The conversation was brief and straightforward,” the statement said.
The White House’s push to send agents to cities drew pushback from Democratic mayors and governors.
“The tactics that the Trump administration are using on the streets of Portland are abhorrent,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN earlier this week, alleging that people were being “scooped off the street” in unmarked vehicles and are “being denied probable cause” and “due process.”