PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - President Trump on his first official trip since his swearing chose friendly territory the Republican retreat in Philadelphia's Center City with the GOP congressional caucus.
Trump's midday remarks Thursday in Philadelphia come a day after he began overhauling the nation's immigration rules and moved to jumpstart construction of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. He also ordered cuts Wednesday in federal grants for "sanctuary cities," which shield some immigrants from federal law enforcement, and increases in the number of border patrol agents and immigration officers.
He also spoke about Philadelphia's homicide rate. It didn't take long for the mayor to respond.
Mayor Jim Kenney issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s claim that "here in Philadelphia murder has been steady - I mean just terribly - increasing."
"President Trump’s false statements today were an insult to the men and women of the Philadelphia police force—the very same men and women who are working long hours today to ensure his safety. Our police officers have worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to get Philadelphia’s crime rate down to its lowest point in forty years, while also successfully implementing reforms to strengthen police-community relations and uphold the rights of all our residents. Our homicides are, in fact, slowly declining, and while we are not satisfied with even our current numbers, we are handicapped by Republican refusal to enact any kind of common sense gun control and by their obsession with turning our police officers into ICE agents - which will prevent immigrants from coming forward to report crimes or provide critical witnesses statements that can put dangerous criminals behind bars."