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Trump promises millions to Kenosha, Wis., to rebuild after protests

By
Don Jacobson & Danielle Haynes
Buildings in Kenosha, Wis., are seen boarded up on Monday following protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. President Donald Trump toured the city Tuesday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI
Buildings in Kenosha, Wis., are seen boarded up on Monday following protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. President Donald Trump toured the city Tuesday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump promised millions in funding Tuesday to help Kenosha, Wis., rebuild after protests he described as "domestic terror."

The president, Attorney General William Barr and Chad Wolf, acting secretary of Homeland Security, toured scenes of some of the more destructive protests in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake last month. They also visited an Emergency Operations Center and held a roundtable discussion on public safety.

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"Kenosha has been ravaged by anti-police and anti-American riots," he said at the roundtable.

"These are not acts of peaceful protests, but domestic terror."

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Earlier Tuesday, Trump praised the National Guard for shutting down protests in the city.

He said the administration planned to provide $1 million to law enforcement in the city, $4 million to support small businesses damaged in the protests and more than $42 million for state law enforcement.

"I'm committed to helping Kenosha rebuild," he said.

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The funding for the state will "support public safety statewide, including direct support for law enforcement and funding for additional prosecutors to punish criminals and resources to provide services to victims of crime."

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday the president wants to thank law enforcement and "go to cities where Americans are hurting."

Trump later told reporters he wasn't planning to meet with Blake's family.

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"I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved," he said. "They wanted me to speak but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn't do that."

Blake's family will hold a "peaceful community gathering" at the site of the shooting during Trump's visit, including a community clean-up and voter registration drive. Blake remains hospitalized from the Aug. 23 shooting and is paralyzed, relatives said.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian have opposed Trump's visit, concerned that it will only fan flames of prejudice and sow more division.

Evers on Sunday urged Trump to "reconsider" the visit.

"I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing," he wrote in a letter. "I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together."

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In a speech from Pennsylvania on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Trump is "stoking violence in our cities" and is "incapable of healing."

Two days after Blake was shot, police say two activists were shot dead by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, a member of a self-proclaimed militia group. He's charged with their deaths.

Trump defended Rittenhouse Monday, saying he was trying to get away from protesters when he fired his automatic weapon.

"I guess he was in very big trouble," he said. "He would have been, he probably would have been killed."

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