White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday despite a plea from the state’s governor for him to stay away. She also said the White House has been unable to make contact with the family of Jacob Blake, whose shooting by police sparked unrest in the city.
“This president shows up,” McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” She added: “This president is out and about, reopening the country, demonstrating his respect for the American people by actually going to places where Americans are hurting. He’ll always show up. That’s what this president has done for four years and he’ll continue to do. … This president will go to Kenosha, Wisconsin. He loves the people of Wisconsin, and he looks forward to speaking directly to them and unifying the state.”
In a letter Sunday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) asked Trump to cancel the trip, saying it would inflame tensions.
McEnany said that Trump plans to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from rioting in the city. A meeting with Blake’s family is apparently not on the agenda.
“We are efforting outreach. We have not been able to connect yet,” McEnany said, adding: “We are holding his family close to our hearts.”
During a television interview in the past week, Jacob Blake Sr. said he had spoken to Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), for about an hour but had not heard from Trump.
Over the weekend, Blake Sr. told The Washington Post that the family is not interested in speaking to the president.
“I’m not a sucker,” he said. “He can’t reach out to me now. If he wanted to reach out, he should have reached out like Joe Biden did days ago. I don’t need to speak to him, because I spoke to President Biden already.”
During a television appearance Monday, Blake family attorney Ben Crump said he had not heard from the White House.
“My office received no calls to set up any kind of meeting,” he said on MSNBC. “I know when Vice President Biden and Senator Harris wanted to make contact, they simply called my office, and we coordinated such a meeting.”
During her appearance, McEnany chided Biden for planning to deliver a speech Monday on the protests and violence from Pennsylvania rather than Wisconsin.
“Here we go again, Democrats ignoring the state of Wisconsin as they did in 2016,” she said.
In a tweet shortly after McEnany spoke, Trump reiterated his plans to make his trip and sought to take credit for tamping down violence in Kenosha. “If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now,” he wrote. “Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!”