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In a letter, Gov. Evers asks President Trump to rethink his Tuesday visit to Kenosha

Posted at 5:19 AM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 19:32:24-04

KENOSHA — Gov. Tony Evers has written a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to reconsider his visit to Kenosha on Tuesday.

In the letter dated Sunday, the governor writes, "I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing." The governor also expresses concern about security resources, writing, "an in-person visit from you will require a massive re-direction of these resources to support your visit at a time when it is critical that we continue to remain focused on keeping the people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response."

In response, White House spokesperson Judd Deere wrote, "The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized. President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild."

It's been one week since Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey. Days of protests, looting, and fires followed. During unrest on Tuesday night, investigators believe 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and injured a third.

"People are scared, people are tense," said Kenosha resident Austin Kitchens.

Later on Sunday, several Kenosha County supervisors also wrote a letter to President Trump, countering the governor and asking the President not to cancel his plans to 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," the letter reads. Seven supervisors, including Zach Rodriguez, Gabe Nudo, Amy Maurer, Jeff Wamboldt, Mark Nordigian, Erin Decker, and Lon Wienke signed it.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, who is a Democrat, also tweeted the President should rethink his visit. Kaul is leading the investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Other Democrats agree with the governor.

"There are a number of ways the President can help if wants to be helpful, but ultimately divisive rhetoric at this time will not help our community heal and grieve," said state Rep. Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha.

President Donald Trump to visit Kenosha on Tuesday

Some people in Kenosha said they do not want the President to visit. Others, like Ruth Simon, say while they are worried tensions will flare again, she's excited for the President to be in Kenosha.

"Because he’s done a lot, I feel he’s done a lot for us," Simon said.

Republicans in Wisconsin believe the President is visiting at the right time, and that his presence will show leadership.

"I reached out to the President on Tuesday, and he said he would provide additional resources to the city of Kenosha, those were essential to get in," said U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville. "Many men and women stood up to help provide that public safety in Kenosha, and the President is coming to say thank you."

Congressman Steil said he will be in Kenosha with the President on Tuesday, and it will give him a chance to talk about how the city can move forward.

"We've now established public safety in the city of Kenosha, we now begin the healing process, and the rebuilding process, and I think it's a great opportunity to have that conversation with the President," Steil said.

Sen. Ron Johnson meanwhile said “It is a sad state of affairs when Governor Evers asks the president of the United States to stay out of Wisconsin."

“President Trump provided decisive leadership and offered support for Kenosha that Governor Evers initially rejected. Instead, the governor and his lieutenant governor made statements, leapt to conclusions, and have participated in rallies that have done more to incite than calm the situation," the senator said in a news release.

Business owners react to Trump visit

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