Milwaukee mayor hits Trump over 'horrible' city comment: 'Right back at ya, buddy'


Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson fiercely defended his home turf after reports surfaced that former President Trump called it a “horrible city” in a meeting with congressional Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

“If Donald Trump wants to talk about things that he thinks are horrible — all of us lived through his presidency, so, right back at you, buddy,” Johnson said when asked about Trump’s alleged criticism of the city, which is hosting the Republican National Convention this summer, where Trump is set to clinch the 2024 presidential nomination.

“Look, obviously Donald Trump is wrong about something yet again,” Johnson added.

Johnson noted the political dynamics at play in Wisconsin — one of six battleground states largely seen as critical to winning the general election, in what’s expected to be a close rematch between Trump and President Biden in November.

Johnson called Trump’s alleged remarks “bizarre” and “unhinged, in a way.”

“I find it kind of perplexing; I find it kind of strange, that he would insult the largest city in Wisconsin because he’s running for president. He obviously wants to win Wisconsin, win the election. And so to insult the state that’s hosting your convention, I think is kind of bizarre, actually kind of unhinged, in a way,” Johnson said.

“Especially considering the fact that in Milwaukee, there are about 50,000 Republicans who live right here in the city, so you’re calling their home horrible,” he continued. “I mean, I don’t quite understand that.”

The Trump campaign quickly clarified the former president’s comment, saying Trump does not think Milwaukee itself is “horrible,” but that crime in the city is, after reports circulated that he dissed the upcoming site of the Republican convention.

A Trump campaign spokesperson called the situation “a desperate attempt to get likes” on social media and noted no reporters were in the room where the former president met with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill — and allegedly took aim at the city.

“It’s a total lie,” the spokesperson said in a statement that included links to GOP members who defended Trump. “President Trump was explicitly referring to the problems in Milwaukee, specifically violent crime and voter fraud.”

The Milwaukee mayor touted the many Republicans who have said positive things about the city

“His colleagues in the Republican Party and the [Republican National Committee], they obviously disagree with him. They’ve been here a number of times. They love Milwaukee, thought it was a splendid city,” Johnson said.

Johnson said it seems Trump “just does not like cities” and that “these urban challenges are not unique to Milwaukee,” noting Milwaukee has seen a significant improvement in the last few years in job growth, reduced crime and greater investments in local businesses.

“It’s very clear to me that Donald Trump just does not like cities. He does not like cities. And so, for us, for voters here in Milwaukee, I think the message is pretty clear. You heard it from the man himself,” Johnson said. “Let’s all work to make sure that he doesn’t have the opportunity to live in another city that I think he probably thinks is horrible too: and that’s Washington D.C.”

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