At a meeting yesterday with African-American leaders, President Trump again talked about Chicago violence, saying if city officials don’t take steps, “we’re going to solve the problem for them,” and suggesting that direct intervention with street-gang leaders might be a good idea, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “Because we’re going to have to do something,” Trump said, “What’s happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country.” Trump said violence in the city was “totally out of control.”
Trump’s remark came in reply to Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor who campaigned for Trump, was on Trump’s transition team and who was one of the clergy who participated in the National Prayer Service Trump attended the day after the inauguration. Scott, Senior Pastor of New Spirit Revival Center Ministries, Scott said he was talking to members of “top gangs” in Chicago who wanted a “sit down” to discuss how to “get that body count down” in return for “social programs.” “It’s a great idea,” Trump said about a possible meeting involving gang leaders. Scott attended a meeting Trump hosted that was described by the White House as an “African-American History Month listening session.” Later yesterday, Scott said he had meant to say he spoke to “former gang thugs” rather than current ones.