Trump’s ‘Horrible’ Remark on Milwaukee Sparks Political Firestorm Ahead of GOP Convention

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In an unanticipated event last Thursday, the ever-controversial former President Donald Trump reportedly described Milwaukee – the very city where he is set to accept the Republican nomination next month – as “horrible” during a confidential meeting with Republican congressmen. According to several attendees who spoke up after the gathering, Trump’s alleged comment was a subject of disagreement over its intended meaning.

Supporters of Trump who were in the room asserted the former President was making references to crime rates and instances of voter fraud when he used the disparaging term for the city. It’s a well-known fact that Trump has long painted Democratic-led cities as hotbeds of crime, a depiction he maintains even as the latest national FBI records show a downward trend in violent crime. He also has a habit of repeating unfounded claims about his electoral defeat in 2020.

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The Democratic camp was quite quick in its reaction against Trump’s reported comment. Exhibiting deft strategic prowess, President Joe Biden posted a photo of himself warmly engaging the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 NBA champions, on a social media platform with a simple yet powerful message: “I happen to love Milwaukee”. This comes as Wisconsin Republicans debate the context of Trump’s alleged remark.

The upcoming Republican National Convention, slated to commence on July 15, is to be held in Milwaukee, the largest Democratic stronghold in Wisconsin, a state known for swinging between both major parties.

Within the unpredictable ebb and flow of this political chess game, Trump has scheduled a campaign rally in Racine, another Wisconsin town, just three weeks before his arrival in Milwaukee for the convention.

Adding to the intense debate over Trump’s alleged comment, his spokesperson Steven Cheung opined that Trump was merely expressing his dismay towards crime and voter fraud. This sentiment was echoed by Republican U.S. Rep Derrick Van Orden who insisted that Trump was discussing the city’s “horrible” crime rate, a view that he claimed was shared by other Republicans present at the meeting.

However, not all Republicans supported this interpretation. Some, like Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, believed Trump was expressing concern over election integrity. His remark, “Milwaukee’s just terrible,” he explained, was in response to doubts regarding the city’s election procedures.

Meanwhile, other Republicans at the meeting contested the very allegations that Trump referred to Milwaukee in a negative light. According to Rep. Bryan Steil, Trump never said such a thing. Rep. Tom Tiffany shared a similar view, asserting that Trump’s focus was on ensuring electoral integrity in battleground states.

Amidst this controversy, a Trump aide was charged with felonies, along with two of his 2020 advisors, in Wisconsin last week for a scheme intended to manipulate the state’s electoral ballots in favor of Trump.

In response to Trump’s alleged comment, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson suggested that Trump should reflect on the universally negative views of his Presidency before casting aspersions on others. Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee took a dig at Trump’s felony convictions.

Further assailing Trump’s comment, Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin declared Milwaukee as a part of what makes Wisconsin the best state in the nation. She even managed to turn the controversy into a fundraising opportunity. Governor Tony Evers was at a loss over Trump’s allegations, responding rather cryptically with a clown-face emoji.

Originally, Milwaukee was set to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, but the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic forced the proceedings online. Its political significance, however, undeniably remains as powerful as ever.