Trump is scheduled Monday to address the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in what will be the president’s first visit to the Windy City since taking office.
But Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who is hosting the event, will be busy with other duties when the president delivers his remarks, FOX 32 of Chicago reported.
“The values of the people of Chicago are more important to him than anything that could be discussed at that speech,” Johnson’s spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, told the station.
Plus, Johnson may be interested in keeping a low profile these days: He’s coming off a recent mini-scandal in which he was found asleep in his vehicle, reportedly after having consumed “a couple of drinks with dinner,” according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Trump and Chicago’s mostly Democrat leaders have rarely seen eye to eye – with the president frequently calling for a crackdown on crime in one of the nation’s most violent cities.
In late September, the Chicago Police Department issued a directive advising officers not to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security, particularly in situations of immigration arrests.
“What the hell is going on in Chicago?” the president asked at a rally in Florida in 2017, according to FOX 32. “There are those who say that Afghanistan is safer than Chicago, OK? … You know what’s wrong with Chicago? Weak, ineffective politicians. Democrats.”
Earlier this year, Lightfoot’s predecessor, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, blamed Trump for the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of falsely claiming to be the victim of a violent attack.
“Let me be clear about something,” Emanuel said at the time. “The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is because of the environment, the toxic environment that Donald Trump created.
“This is a president who drew a moral equivalency between people who are trying to perpetuate bigotry and those who are trying to fight bigotry.”
In 2017, Trump had criticized Emanuel as being an ineffective leader.
“Better tell that mayor to get tough,” Trump said of Emanuel at a rally, “because it’s not working, what they’re doing.”
Some may recall it was in Chicago in June that a restaurant employee allegedly spat on the president’s son Eric Trump, prompting Lightfoot to condemn the “repugnant” behavior and issue a statement reminding city residents that “civility matters.”
What Trump plans to say to his police audience Monday remains unknown. But in previous comments, the president has called law enforcement to use the controversial “stop and frisk” method as a way of reducing crime, and threatened to “send in the feds” if officials didn’t successfully address the “carnage” happening on the city’s streets.
While the president is in town, he’ll also be attending a Trump 2020 campaign fundraiser, with prices ranging from $2,800 for lunch to $35,000 for a photo with the president, to $100,000 for a seat at a roundtable meeting with trump. In addition, the Trump campaign will extend an “VIP” invitation to a lucky grassroots-level donor whose name is selected in a drawing, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Trump’s last visit to Chicago came just days before his 2016 election victory over Hillary Clinton, according to the newspaper.
Trump has visited other parts of Illinois as president, including Granite City near St. Louis and Murphysboro, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.