President Donald Trump will visit Kenosha Tuesday over calls from state Democratic leaders to stay away.
The president is expected to tour damage from last week’s demonstrations and speak with law enforcement.
If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now. Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2020
State Democrats said the president could spur further division with his trip to the state.
“When I visited Kenosha last week, what I saw was a community working to deal with the trauma and pain of these events and extreme loss,” Gov. Tony Evers wrote in a letter to the president. “They are exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community.”
“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” he wrote.
The governor added that he was concerned a presidential visit would tie up resources local officials need to maintain safety in the city.
Some local officials however, welcomed the president’s visit.
“Kenoshans are hurting and looking for leadership, and your leadership in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated by those devastated by the violence in Kenosha,” a group of seven Kenosha County Board supervisors wrote in a letter to the president.
“Please do not cancel your plans to visit Kenosha to meet with citizens and business owners devastated by the violence that took places this past week,” they added.
The reaction included criticism over what some saw was Evers’ slow reaction to supply local officials with national guard support during last week’s unrest.
Trump has praised the national guard response in Kenosha, which has included deployment of guard troops from other states under the command of Wisconsin officials, as keeping the violence in Kenosha at bay.
Evers contended he met the requests of local officials.
“As governor, I will continue to support the Kenosha community,” he said, “as well as the people across our state who are demanding police accountability and transparency reform.”