Aug 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Karen Bass: Purpose of Trump's visit to Kenosha is "to campaign and to agitate"

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, criticized President Trump for his plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, arguing on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the only purpose of the trip is "to campaign and to agitate."

Why it matters: Kenosha has been rocked by violent protests since the police shooting of Jacob Blake, with clashes last week culminating in the shooting death of two people by a 17-year-old member of an armed right-wing group. Trump plans to visit the city on Tuesday to "survey damage from recent riots," according to a White House spokesperson.

What she's saying: "I think his visit has one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to agitate things and to make things worse," Bass said.

  • "You know, what also happened in Portland too — you saw a parade of Trump supporters actually, actively shooting paintballs at peaceful protesters. And the president, in my opinion, encourages that. He actually retweeted the people firing paint guns."
  • "So I think he only means to agitate things. He is campaigning. It's clear his campaign is all about law and order, it's a throwback to the past, and he's going to do everything to disrupt law and order in this time."

The big picture: Bass did not respond when asked whether Democratic nominee Joe Biden should visit Kenosha. Biden plans to travel to an undisclosed location this week to "condemn violence, and to note that chaos has unfolded" on President Trump's watch, per the New York Times.

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