Trump Issues Executive Order To Cut Funds To Cities That Have ‘Defunded Police’

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Donald Trump at CPAC

President Donald Trump ordered a review of cities’ treatment of law enforcement Wednesday, threatening to block federal funds if the White House discovers that a jurisdiction “disempowers” or “defunds” its police department. 

The president signed a five-page memo Wednesday afternoon, which ordered the Office of Budget Management and Budget to delve into reviewing federal funding to areas which the notice refers to as “anarchist jurisdictions” within the next 30 days. It directs Attorney General William Barr to publish a list of jurisdictions on the Department of Justice website, which have “permitted violence and destruction of property.” In addition, Federal agencies will receive guidance on reporting on federal funds they distribute to several Democratic-led cities.

Trump’s memo, in particular, calls out Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington, D.C., for further investigation. 

On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted, “My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today.”

The president has repeatedly censured activists’ attempts to defund the police, choosing to defend law enforcement amid months of unrest in cities across the U.S. He has frequently accused Democratic mayors of enabling riots in their cities and floated a conspiracy theory about paid rioters.

Trump has urged cities to accept federal forces to maintain order, and Wednesday’s memo said a city could be placed under review if it “unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the Federal Government.”