‘It’s Almost as though They Don’t Want It to End’: Trump Contrasts Restoration of Order in Kenosha with Prolonged Rioting in Other Cities

President Donald Trump speaks while viewing property damage in the aftermath of riots, Kenosha, Wis., September 1, 2020. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

President Trump on Tuesday contrasted the swift restoration of order in Kenosha, Wis. with the ongoing riots in Portland, and suggested that elected officials in Oregon have allowed the disturbances to continue for political reasons.

Trump spoke at a press conference in Kenosha, where he announced a package of $42 million in funds to state law enforcement. The conference was attended by local business owners whose property was destroyed in the riots, as well as local and federal government officials including Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Attorney General William Barr.

“I really came today to thank law enforcement. What you’ve done has been incredible. It’s really inspiring because you see [demonstrations] happening all over and it just never seems to end,” Trump said. “And it never seems to end because, it’s almost as though they don’t want it to end. Because you ended it really fast.”

The Kenosha riots were quelled by Thursday, after Trump and Wisconsin governor Tony Evers agreed to deploy over 1,000 National Guardsmen and 200 federal law enforcement officers to the city. Additionally, Senator Johnson said that sheriff’s departments from over 40 different counties in the state sent representatives to help maintain order.

Trump contrasted the response to the riots in Kenosha with the city of Portland, which has seen more than 90 consecutive nights of rioting and attacks on federal, state, and city law enforcement.

“We’re tired of watching it because it could be solved in an hour,” Trump said. “I say, your community is burning down” but state officials have responded “we don’t need your help. Now I don’t know if that’s political, I don’t know what is going on, it’s certainly not common sense, but we could solve it just like here.”

Acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf also touted the coordination of federal, state, and local authorities in the response to riots in Kenosha.

“The decrease in violence that we’ve seen here in Kenosha over the last several days is really just a prime example of how federal, state, and local law enforcement can work together,” Wolf said. “It’s really a model that we can replicate elsewhere, in Portland and other cities across the country.”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.