By Jim Moran
CHICAGO – President Donald Trump said Monday that gun violence in Chicago was embarrassing to the nation and that Afghanistan was a safer place because of sanctuary city laws.
Trump addressed members of the International Association of Police Chiefs at McCormick Place during his first visit to Chicago since winning election.
The president had harsh words for the city and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who skipped the event because Trump was picked to speak.
Addressing a packed convention hall, Trump called Chicago the worst sanctuary city in America. He was critical of continued violence in the city.
“it’s embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world, they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison. It’s true,” he said.
Trump spent several minutes criticizing Johnson.
“Here’s a man who could not bother to show up to a meeting of police chiefs, the most respected people in the country, in his hometown,” Trump said. “And you know why? It’s because he’s not doing his job.”
Trump spoke for over an hour. He was joined at the conference by local and national law enforcement leaders and others, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
After the speech, Trump signed an executive order creating a new executive Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The commission will study key issues facing law enforcement and ways to combat gun violence.
“The best way to reduce gun violence is to put criminals with firearms behind bars,” Trump said.
The president also thanked the law enforcement leaders who attended.
“You have no idea how much the people of this country love you and respect you,” he said.
Afterward, the president attended a fundraising luncheon at his Chicago hotel before returning to the White House.
A Chicago area radio news veteran, Jim Moran covers statewide issues for The Center Square. Previously, he has worked as a news reporter/anchor and traffic reporter for numerous radio stations across Illinois and the St. Louis metro area.