Trump likens Democrat-led cities to 'war zones,' hints at federal intervention

'We're going to straighten things out,' Trump said.

President Trump on Wednesday likened Democrat-led cities to “war zones,” while hinting federal intervention could be coming.

The president’s comments came during a briefing from the Justice Department on the progress of law enforcement agencies' efforts to “dismantle, defeat and destroy” MS-13 in the United States.

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The president said that the “left-wing group of people that are running cities are not doing the job they’re supposed to be doing.”

“It’s not a very tough job to do, if they knew what they were doing, so we’ll be talking about that next week,” Trump said. “We’ll probably have an announcement as to what we’re planning to do to help them.”

He added: “They’re supposed to be asking for help and they don’t want to ask, so maybe they’re proud or maybe they think it’s bad politically, but we can’t have happen what’s happening.”

Trump added: “We’re going to straighten things out.”

When asked what could be announced, the president said he would share “in great detail” next week, but said it is “something that I think, at this point, the American people want to see.”

“They’ve been run very poorly,” Trump said, listing Seattle and Minneapolis. “We had the National Guard go in and as soon as they did that, we straightened that mess out. They should have been able to do locally with their police. The police are good. They were told not to do anything.”

The president added: “We have other cities that are out of control.”

“They are like war zones,” he said. “And if the cities are not going to straighten out, or local politicians … they’re all Democrats.”

“They’re all liberal, left-wing Democrats,” Trump said. “And it’s almost like they think it is going to be this way forever.”

Trump went on to note that in Chicago last week, “68 people were shot and 18 people died.”

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“We’re not going to put up with it,” Trump said.

The president’s comments come amid unrest in cities across the nation, as protesters have taken to the street pushing the “Defund the Police” movement, in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd while in police custody in May.

Meanwhile, the president slammed “radical left-wing politicians” who he said, “have fought for open borders and welfare for illegal aliens.”

“My administration has fought for safe streets,” Trump said. “We want security for our people. We want the rule of law. We want law and order.”

The president was joined Wednesday by his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Attorney General William Barr, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence. Also attending were U.S. attorneys from Nevada, New York and Virginia, as well as director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal and Regina Lombardo, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Last year, Barr created “Joint Task Force Vulcan” to lead the Justice Department and U.S. law enforcement agencies in their efforts to “destroy” MS-13.

The creation of the task force came after the president, in February 2017, signed an executive order to direct a “whole-of-government” approach to dismantle transnational criminal organizations and “restore safety in American communities.” By October 2017, the DOJ designated MS-13 as a priority for its Organized Drug Enforcement Task Forces.