Trump to Visit Kenosha to Survey Damage From Riots, Speak to Business Owners

September 1, 2020 Updated: September 1, 2020

President Donald Trump is headed to Wisconsin on Tuesday to see in person the damage wrought by rioters in Kenosha following a police shooting there.

The Republican is also planning to meet with business owners affected by the rioting, and law enforcement officers, the White House said.

Trump is scheduled to leave Washington at 10:30 a.m. ET and touch down at Waukegan National Airport in Illinois at 11:55 a.m. Central Time.

From there, he will be driven to Kenosha to survey property affected by the recent riots, according to his daily schedule. Twenty minutes are allocated for the surveying.

If all goes as planned, Trump will then depart for Mary D. Bradford High School, in Kenosha, where he will tour the Emergency Operations Center before taking part in a roundtable on community safety in Wisconsin.

Trump is scheduled to leave Kenosha at 2:20 p.m. CT and touch down in Maryland, near Washington, at 5:40 p.m. ET.

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The Bill of Rights, Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence, and decorative balloon on a boarded up store in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 31, 2020. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)
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Two cadet National Guardsmen stand outside the Kenosha Courthouse during curfew in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 31, 2020. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump told reporters on Monday night that the rioting in Kenosha ended because of the National Guard and federal forces that were sent there.

“Tomorrow, I’m going to a place where we moved very quickly—you know that—in Wisconsin. And we moved very, very quickly. And as soon as we moved, that was the end of that. It was very well behaved,” he said.

“It should be very interesting. But we’re proud of it because, in six days, it’s been like a different world. And it took place immediately. As soon as we surged, as soon as we went in, it took place immediately,” he added later.

Rioting ended after three days, following shootings that left two dead and one wounded. An Illinois teenager was arrested and faces multiple charges, but won’t be extradited to Wisconsin until at least late September.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, both Democrats, were among the officials who urged Trump to not visit Kenosha.

“I’m 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,” Evers wrote in a letter to the president.

Trump said that Evers didn’t want to send the National Guard to quell rioting but did so reluctantly.

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (L) and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speak to reporters in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 27, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
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A police armored vehicle patrols an intersection while a building set afire by rioters burns in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“But I give him credit because, ultimately, he said yes. And as soon as he said yes, the problem ended,” he said, adding: “But I have to see the people that did such a good job for me. And we’re meeting with numerous people. And we have tremendous support in the state of Wisconsin. So I promised them, when it all gets taken care of, we’ll go.”

The visit could “increase enthusiasm and it could increase love and respect for our country,” Trump said.

Trump’s margin of victory in Wisconsin in 2016 was the smallest of any state. He nearly won Minnesota, which sits to the west of Wisconsin. Trump’s campaign has said they hope to win both states this year.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters in a separate briefing that Trump would meet with local law enforcement and some business owners, and survey the damage from riots.

Trump doesn’t plan to meet with members of Jacob Blake’s family, according to McEnany.

Trump said he spoke with the family’s pastor over the phone but felt it would be inappropriate to speak with a lawyer representing them.

Blake, 29, was shot by a police officer in Kenosha on Aug. 23. Blake was wanted for sexual assault and was the subject of a 911 call regarding a boyfriend being at a home; his girlfriend said he was not supposed to be there.

After officers arrived, they tried arresting Blake, who fought with them through two tasers, Wisconsin Department of Justice investigators said. Blake then walked to the driver’s side door of his vehicle and leaned inside, prompting one officer to shoot him in the back.

Blake was rushed to a hospital in Milwaukee via helicopter. The officers involved were placed on leave pending an investigation.

The shooting set off riots, as people claimed it was a sign of racial injustice.

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