Trump’s Milwaukee comment: horribly insulting

Did he say it or didn’t he?

Did Donald Trump say last week that Milwaukee is a “horrible city” or didn’t he?

Trump walked back what he did or didn’t say in an interview with “The Hill,” regarded as a “least biased” source by Media Bias/Fact Check, a media internet rating site.

Trump himself and Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) said Trump never used those words. Here are their denials: “This is false, a complete lie,” Trump said after a closed GOP meeting in Washington D.C. He added, “Who would say such a thing with that important state in the balance?”

Steil pushed back, saying, “I was in the room. President Trump did not say this.”

That, however, does not square with the statements from five other Wisconsin Republicans who tried to modify Trump’s alleged comment about Milwaukee. They tried to mitigate the damage by saying Trump was talking about Milwaukee’s crime rate and election integrity.

The damage control was politically necessary. The Republican National Convention starts in Milwaukee on July 15 and Democrats are filling up billboards with Trump’s reported slur on the city.

Let’s slice and dice the bafflegarb coming out of Republican mouths. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) said, “Nothing I consider to be a criticism of Milwaukee.” Think about it. Embedded in his statement is the acknowledgement that Trump said something about Milwaukee.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) told WEAU-13 in Eau Claire, “The point he was trying to make is that he’s concerned about crime in Milwaukee, and we all should be.” Think about it. Embedded in the senator’s qualification is the fact that Trump said something adverse about Milwaukee. Johnson didn’t say that Trump said nothing.

Dylan Johnson, a Trump campaign spokesman, said, “It’s a total lie.” Then he added that Trump was referring to problems in Milwaukee with violent crime and voter fraud. Think about it. Johnson is admitting that Trump said something adverse about Milwaukee.

Steven Cheung, another Trump spokesperson, claimed that Trump was talking crime and election issues in the city when he made the comment. Again, he didn’t say the comment wasn’t made.

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Jefferson) said the “horrible” comment came from Trump’s concern about the Wisconsin election. Note: He did not say that Trump didn’t make a critical comment.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R- Prairie du Chien) said, “I was eight feet in front of Trump. There’s a single table between him and I for the hour and 15 minutes he spoke. And it was taken radically out of context.” So, what’s the “it?” Obviously, the “it” was the “horrible city” characterization.

Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazlehurst) made similar walk-back comments after Trump’s blunder. He did not deny that Trump used offending words toward Milwaukee.

The summary of all these Republican attempts to soften Trump’s “horrible city” comment is that he probably used those exact words. Trump is notorious for putting his foot in his mouth. Remember when he called the fallen Marines in a French WWI cemetery “losers” and “suckers?”

Remember back in 2018 when Trump labeled some African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole nations.”

Remember when he referred earlier this year to immigrants as “vermin” and to his political opponents as “scum?”

It is beyond debate that Trump is a master of insults. There is no filter between his brain and his mouth. It is in the interest of the Biden campaign to have Trump talking endlessly. It is inevitable that he will come out with more verbal beauties. It is also inevitable that Republican operatives will try to say that he didn’t mean what he said.

For the record, there was no election fraud in Milwaukee or anywhere else in Wisconsin, as proven repeatedly by recounts, audits, formal analyses and numerous lawsuits.

Republicans have some grounds to bash Milwaukee on its levels of crime. Note, though, that its crime rate dropped significantly in 2023 and that other major cities are battling crime as well.

A final thought: If I have to choose between a reporter as a legitimate news source or Donald Trump on truth telling, I opt for the reporter.

Finally, if Milwaukee is what Trump thinks it is, mainly because it voted heavily for Biden, then he should skip visiting the city for the Republican convention that is to starts in a month.

If he and his mouth stay away, the would-be president would miss out on its Lake Michigan vistas and beaches, its multi-cultural festivals, its manufacturing muscle, its striking architecture and its warm-hearted people.

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