President Donald Trump has ordered his administration Wednesday to investigate defunding riot-roiled, Democrat-controlled cities that "permit anarchy, violence, and destruction," according to a New York Post exclusive.
New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Portland are the first four cities that have been hardest hit by "lawless" protests where the Trump administration is ordering federal agencies to report to the White House Office of Management and Budget areas where existing federal funding can be redirected, according to the report.
"My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones," Trump wrote in a five-page memo, per the Post.
"To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted, nor spent in a manner that directly violates our government's promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the federal government review the use of federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America's cities."
Federal agencies must report to OMB Director Russ Vought "all Federal funds provided to Seattle, Portland, New York City, Washington, D.C.," the memo obtained by the Post reads.
Also, Attorney General William Barr will provide a list of "anarchist jurisdictions" which "permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures" to restore law and order, it continued.
Vought has 30 days to provide guidance "to the heads of agencies on restricting eligibility of or otherwise disfavoring, to the maximum extent permitted by law, anarchist jurisdictions in the receipt of federal grants."
New York City gets around $7 billion annually in various federal aid, according to the Post.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is mentioned twice in the memo, per the report, and Trump pointedly called out New York City "officials have allowed violence to spike."
"In light of this unconscionable rise in violence, I have offered to provide federal law enforcement assistance, but both Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have rejected my offer," Trump's memo reads, per the Post.
"While violence has surged, arrests have plummeted. In a 28-day period during the months of June and July, [New York City] arrests were down 62% from the same period in 2019. Amidst the rising violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department (NYPD) budget, including by cancelling the hiring of 1,163 officers."
Gov. Cuomo tweeted a rejection of Trump's attempt to defund his largest city, calling it "an illegal stunt":
"President Trump has actively sought to punish NYC since day one. He let COVID ambush New York. He refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover. He is not a king. He cannot 'defund' NYC. It's an illegal stunt."
Trump's memo also called out New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanding plain clothes officers, noting "police officials have cited this decision as a factor contributing to the rise in violence."
Trump also took on frequent administration antagonist D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who spoke for presidential campaign rival Joe Biden during last month's Democratic National Convention.
"Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed rioters and anarchists to engage in violence and destruction in late May and early June, requiring me to call in the National Guard to maintain law and order in the nation's capital," Trump's memo read, per the Post.
Vought subsequently issued a statement to the Post:
"American taxpayers who fund the great programs that our cities rely on deserve to be protected by their local city officials. We are taking action by exploring all options to ensure federal resources flowing to lawless cities aren't being squandered. The lack of law and order surrounding these riots, and response from local leadership, is a dereliction of duty. Our men and women in blue cannot be handcuffed by local leadership in their efforts to respond to riots and protect their fellow citizens."
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