Oct 16, 2019

Trump vs. Democratic mayors

Kim Hart, author of Cities

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is given a tour of the Capitol by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The feud between Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and President Trump over reimbursement for last week's campaign rally made one thing clear: Heading into 2020, Democratic mayors are likely targets of presidential tweets.

Why it matters: Being on the receiving end of a Trump tweet suddenly raises their profile, as Frey learned last week when his Twitter following more than doubled overnight.

  • “Donald Trump, through his attacks, doesn’t realize that he is actually probably in some ways elevating the profile of these elected officials who work tirelessly in obscurity,” Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party told Politico's Quint Forgey.
  • “And now these elected officials … have developed a huge following and have become rising stars in the party.”

Catch up quick: Trump called Frey out on Twitter for requesting reimbursement for the $530,000 costs associated with security for a Trump rally taking place last Thursday. Frey fired back, and the city and Trump campaign are still in a "standoff" over the bill, he wrote in a weekend op-ed.

Other liberal mayors have drawn Trump's ire in the past, including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

  • Several have forcefully defended their cities when they've been targeted in tweets, such as San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young.

Frey offered some advice for mayors who suddenly find themselves in the cross-hairs: handle it "with civility and a bit of humor."

What's next: Expect more Twitter feuds between Trump and mayors over the next year. The sparring riles up voters in important districts, where Democratic mayors serve as convenient contrasts for Trump's stances.

Go deeper

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.

Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."