CHICAGO — The day after President Donald Trump caused a stir in Chicago by decrying the city's violence on Twitter and vowing to send in "the Feds," his administration struck a more conciliatory tone.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said there is no concrete plan at the moment on how the federal government would curb Chicago's violence, but Trump is tired of seeing people "shot down" on the street.
"What the president is upset about is turning on the television and seeing Americans get killed by shootings... seeing people walking down the street and being shot down," Spicer said. "What he wants to do is provide the resources of the federal government. It can span a bunch of things, it can be aid, if it's requested through the governor, through the proper channels. ... that will ensure people of Chicago have the resources to feel safe."
At the same news conference, however, Spicer said Trump will take federal grant money away from "sanctuary cities" — which include Chicago — if they aren't actively trying to deport undocumented immigrants.
"We'll get a dialogue started with Mayor Emanuel and try to figure out what a path forward will be," Spicer said on the issue of violence.
City leaders responded angrily Wednesday to Trump's late night tweet, and many residents assumed he meant sending in the military:
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
What does it even mean?," 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale asked. "It is so vague."
But Beale said he would welcome dollars for education, infrastructure and additional police officers.
That was echoed by Cardinal Blase Cupich, who said Chicago would welcome assistance that address the "lack of opportunity" that prompts many Chicagoans to join gangs.
"We need help that appreciates the complexity of violence," Cupich said. "We have good police. This is just a law enforcement issue."