President Donald Trump fell hard on city leadership Tuesday in Los Angeles during a briefing on preparations being made for the U.S.-hosted 2028 Summer Olympics.
Reportedly chief among Trump’s concerns was rampant homelessness within the city, according to The Associated Press, which left the president threatening federal government intervention in the near future should local and state authorities fail to improve on efforts to combat the growing problem.
“Clean it up fast,” Trump reportedly urged, referring to a recent influx in homeless encampments around the city.
“If they can’t do it themselves, we’re going to do it,” he said. “The federal government is going to take it over, we’re going to do it.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 19, 2020
Relations between Trump and California’s largely left-wing leadership has been strained since the president took office, particularly with this administration’s no-nonsense approach to illegal immigration and so-called “sanctuary city” policies — which were birthed in the Golden State.
Recent impeachment-related tensions between the president and ranking Democratic Party members such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, both of whom hail from the state, have served to exacerbate that strain, leading to quite a bit of public sparring.
And no shortage of that sparring has come on the topic of homelessness, with Trump reprimanding Pelosi over the last year for the social and economic troubles facing constituents in their home districts.
“I can’t believe that Nancy Pelosi’s District in San Francisco is in such horrible shape that the City itself is in violation of many sanitary & environmental orders, causing it to owe the Federal Government billions of dollars,” Trump tweeted in October. “And all she works on is Impeachment.”
“We should all work together to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away,” Trump added.
….We should all work together to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away. Very bad and dangerous conditions, also severely impacting the Pacific Ocean and water supply. Pelosi must work on this mess and turn her District around!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2019
President @realDonaldTrump is heading west! Next week’s swing will include a briefing on the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles and remarks at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony in Las Vegas!
Read more: https://t.co/U0c9VN5MHK
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 13, 2020
According to a 2019 report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, California’s homeless population has risen to a point at which 33 in 10,000 state residents are homeless — more than triple that of the next most populous state, Texas.
The result is a state homeless population of roughly 151,000 individuals, of which 72 percent purportedly live in vehicles or outdoors.
And with big city homeless encampments growing in size, and obviously unequipped with proper plumbing or trash disposal, state waterways have become contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria rarely seen elsewhere in the nation, Kaiser Health News reported.
“It’s disgraceful,” the president had previously told Fox News late-night host Tucker Carlson. “I’m looking at it very seriously. We may intercede. We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It’s inappropriate.”
This did not, however, stop Trump from signing his administration’s official promise Tuesday to throw the full backing of the federal government behind a 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, the AP reported.
“This is a big deal,” Trump said. “We’re going to give them tremendous support. You need the support of the federal government to make it really work.”
The only stipulation, the president joked, was that he be remembered, “at least” with a good seat.
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