The mayor of Kenosha, Wisconsin rebuffed a lie from United States President Donald Trump on September 1 2020 — after Trump called him “foolish” prior to visiting the city against the wishes of both local and state leadership.
The president made his latest attack on John Antaramian prior to boarding a plane and visiting the city, which has been the site of both protests against police brutality and attacks by white militia groups.
“I saw last night where these radical anarchists were trying to get into the mayor’s house and lots of bad things were happening to this poor foolish very stupid mayor,” Trump said. “How he can be mayor, I have no idea. But all he has to do is call and within 10 minutes their problem would be over.”
However, Derrick Rose of WISN-TV reported that Antaramian quickly published a statement refuting Trump’s claim:
Thank you to those who have reached out to express their concern. I want to dispel the President’s statement that angry mobs were trying to get into my house last night. Nothing of the sort happened. The statement in the President’s video is completely false. The City of Kenosha remains peaceful and focused on healing our community.
— Derrick Rose (@DRoseTV) September 1, 2020
Trump’s attack on Kenosha and its mayor was similar to another lie he told a night earlier during an interview with Fox News talk show host Laura Ingraham.
“They say when you walk through the streets of Portland, this is years and years of burning,” he claimed. As the local Oregonian reported, not only is this claim completely false, but the president defended supporters of his who descended into the city and drove through the streets firing paintballs at residents protesting extrajudicial police killings.
Trump visited Kenosha — despite opposition from both Antaramian and Gov. Tony Evers — a day after defending the seventeen-year-old from Illinois who has been charged with killing two people amid a demonstration there against police violence.
Trump and his administration have also claimed that they attempted to contact 29-year-old Jacob Blake, whose shooting several times in the back by Kenosha police on August 23 2020 sparked the demonstrations in the first place, a claim Blake’s father Jacob Blake, Sr. has flatly denied.
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Blake’s family, did confirm one statement by the president: That he would not meet with the family because they asked for their lawyers to be present.
“We have a Department of Justice investigation going on,” Crump told CNN. “So it would be most appropriate to have your counsel on the phone when you’re talking to anybody involved in the government that would determine whether those individuals will be held accountable for shooting your son seven times in the back in front of your three grandchildren.”