Trey Gowdy calls out urban mayors for excusing growing 'culture of lawlessness'

'When you listen to the mayors ... it's hard to tell the difference between the looters ... and the way they talk about cops'

Weekend rioting and looting in Portland and Chicago, respectively, highlights the "mixed messages" put out by those cities' Democratic mayors, Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy told "The Daily Briefing" Monday.

"In Portland, it [was] the president’s federal law enforcement [cited as escalating the violence]," Gowdy told host Dana Perino. "They are gone, but you still have the anarchy. In Chicago, you have an officer-involved shooting that appears to be a justified shooting in self-defense, and somehow these looters and rioters draw a causal connection that, 'We have a good shoot over here, so let’s go break in unrelated businesses.'

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"[Chicago Mayor] Lori Lightfoot may think she was clear in her most recent statement, but, Dana, there's been a lot of equivocation over the last three or four months from the leaders of these major cities. They've been sending mixed messages at best."

Gowdy, a former state and federal prosecutor in South Carolina, added the most important task for Chicago authorities is to find and arrest those who ransacked the Loop area late Sunday and early Monday.

"The best prosecutor in the world won’t win a case if there is not an arrest," he said. "There ain’t a prosecutor in the world that can win a case without arrest and without evidence. That is mainly what I need. Make the dadgum arrest."

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Addressing the crime increase in urban areas across America this summer, Gowdy theorized that local officials are abetting a "culture of lawlessness"

"When you listen to the mayors and you listen to these alleged leaders, it’s hard to tell the difference between the looters and the rioters and the way they talk about cops," he said.

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"Look, I know people get mad when I say there is a culture of lawlessness. But there is. They just have to get mad. There is culture of lawlessness building in this country ...

"[The law is] the last institution we could count on," Gowdy concluded. "Now they are trying to tear that down. I think that is contributing to it."