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Trump calls Milwaukee 'horrible' just before city hosts Republican convention

Trump calls Milwaukee 'horrible' just before city hosts Republican convention
Trump calls Milwaukee 'horrible' just before city hosts Republican convention


MADISON, Wis. (AP) Former President Donald Trump used the word horrible while speaking about Milwaukee, the city where he will accept the Republican nomination next month during a closed-door meeting Thursday with Republican members of Congress, according to several people in the room who spoke. After.

The comment, first reported by Punchbowl News while the meeting was underway, immediately sparked disagreement among attendees over what Trump meant.

Several members of Congress who support Trump and attended the meeting argued that he was referring to crime and election fraud. Trump frequently denounces Democratic-run cities as dangerous, even though violent crime has declined nationally in the most recent FBI statistics, and repeats lies about his defeat in the 2020 election.

President Joe Biden's campaign and his Democratic allies pounced on the reported remark even as Wisconsin Republicans took issue with how it was being interpreted. Biden posted a photo on social platform X of himself greeting the Milwaukee Bucks after their 2021 NBA championship with the message: I love Milwaukee.

Milwaukee hosts the Republican National Convention starting July 15 and is the largest Democratic stronghold in the swing state of Wisconsin.

Trump is expected to be in Racine, Wisconsin, for a campaign rally on Tuesday, just three weeks before heading to Milwaukee for the convention.

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Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung posted on X that Trump was talking about the horror of crime and election fraud.

Republican U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, who represents western Wisconsin, said Trump was talking about the terrible or horrible crime rate in the city.

He was directly referring to crime in Milwaukee, said Van Orden, who told The Associated Press that he was sitting just feet away from the former president.

He said Republicans in the room agreed. They say, yes, the crime is terrible.

U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, also of Wisconsin, told WISN-TV in Milwaukee that Trump was referring to election integrity.

That's where the comment comes from that the Milwaukees are just terrible, Fitzgerald said. What he was talking about was the elections in Milwaukee and their concerns about them.

But Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, who represents southeastern Wisconsin, disputed that Trump made the comment.

I was in the room, Steil posted on X. President Trump did not say that. There's no better place than Wisconsin in July.

And Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, who represents northern Wisconsin, said he's never heard Trump call Milwaukee a horrible city.

What I heard was to ensure the integrity of elections in Milwaukee, Tiffany said in a telephone interview. He talks about the states in play and the most important states, with Wisconsin at the top of the list.

A Trump aide and two lawyers who advised him in 2020 were charged with crimes last week in Wisconsin for their role in a scheme to get Republicans to vote in Wisconsin for Trump, even though he lost the state.

Government and outside investigations have uniformly concluded that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have tilted the 2020 election. But Trump continued to spread lies about the election, notably in Wisconsin .

Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana said he was also in the room and that Trump never disparaged Milwaukee.

Just another Democratic hoax, Banks posted on X.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, when asked about Trump's reported remarks, said at a news conference: “If Donald Trump wants to talk about things that he finds horrible, we've all been through his presidency, so let's get back to you, my friend.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat who represents and lives in Milwaukee, gave a nod to Trump's recent felony convictions in her response. Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in New York on July 11, days before the convention opens.

Once settled in with his parole officer, I'm sure he will discover that Milwaukee is a wonderful, vibrant and welcoming city, full of diverse neighborhoods and a thriving business community, Moore posted on X.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is up for re-election this year, said on X that Milwaukee is part of what makes Wisconsin the best state in the country. Donald Trump wouldn't understand even if a jury told him. She used Trump's comment in a fundraising appeal hours after it was first posted.

Local and national Democratic leaders, including Gov. Tony Evers, worked with Republicans to win the convention this summer.

Evers, in response to Trump's comment, posted on X: Add it to the list of things Donald Trump is wrong about. He followed it with a clown face emoji.

Milwaukee was supposed to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, but it was held almost entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

___ Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed to this report.




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