LORI Lightfoot branded White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a “Karen” after she called Lightfoot "the derelict mayor of Chicago.”
McEnany used the word to describe Lightfoot during the White House press briefing on Thursday, according to Time Magazine’s White House correspondent, Brian Bennett.
“White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany just called Lori Lightfoot ‘the derelict mayor of Chicago’ and said she should request federal help to secure the city,” he tweeted.
Lightfoot, who has been the Democratic mayor of the Illinois city since May 2019, saw the tweet.
“Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth,” the mayor said in response to the press secretary.
“Karens” is a slang term for middle-aged white women who have gone viral online for being racist or showing entitlement and speaking down to people of color.
On Friday morning, McEnany shot back: “While you‘re focused on words, America is outraged by the violence perpetuated in your city.”
“One person is taking action to stop violence in our streets: President @realDonaldTrump,” she said. “He’s offered your city help. It’s a dereliction of duty not to take it.”
McEnany then shared a letter that Trump sent to Lightfoot and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in June, urging them to end Chicago’s infamous violence.
Trump wrote he’s been “horrified” by the “continued violence,” and cited an article from the Chicago Sun-Times which reported on “the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago” after 18 were killed in 24 hours on May 31.
In response, Lightfoot tweeted: “I don’t need leadership lessons from Donald Trump.”
Trump wrote to the Democrats: “Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect.”
“I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”
“More Americans have been killed in Chicago than in combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq combined since September 11, 2001, a deadly trend that has continued under your tenure,” Trump said.
The president went on to say US taxpayers “send you millions in federal funding each year to support public safety in Chicago … however, these substantial sums of taxpayer money are not being turned into results.”
Trump said that the leaders “must establish law and order” to “revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago.”
He proposed that if the Democratic leaders wanted, they could work with his Cabinet to “devise a plan to make Chicago safe, since a successful formula has escaped both you and your predecessors.”
“Unfortunately, you continue to put your own political interests ahead of the lives, safety, and fortunes of your own citizens,” Trump wrote. “The people of Chicago deserve better.”
Lightfoot tweeted that she stands with Pritzker — who has feuded with Trump — “in providing for the safety and well-being of our residents.”
She said that Trump is “using the victims of gun violence in our city to score cheap political points, spew racist rhetoric, and ignore the impact of COVID across this country.”
“It is despicable, disgusting, and all too typical. Same old tired playbook. How about some leadership not steeped in the divide and conquer tactics?”
Pritzker’s office also responded to Trump’s letter, with the governor’s press secretary tweeting that Trump “is a failure.”
The office said that “once again resorted to a press stunt in an attempt to distract from his long list of failures, especially his response to the deadly coronavirus and nationwide calls for racial justice.”
The large number of shootings in Chicago has put the city at a similar pace as in 2016 and 2017 — two of the most violent years in Chicago since the 1990s.
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