Trump campaign on reported Milwaukee remarks: ‘It’s a total lie’

Former President Trump doesn’t think Milwaukee itself is “horrible,” but the crime in the city is, his campaign clarified Thursday, after reports circulated that he dissed the site of the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Dylan Johnson, a Trump campaign spokesperson, called the situation “a desperate attempt to get likes” on social media and noted no reporters were in the room where the former president met with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill — and allegedly took aim at the city.

“It’s a total lie,” Johnson said in a statement that included links to GOP members who defended Trump. “President Trump was explicitly referring to the problems in Milwaukee, specifically violent crime and voter fraud.”

Punchbowl News first reported that Trump called Milwaukee — where the RNC will meet starting July 15 and formalize his presidential nomination — a “horrible city,” prompting a flood of outrage from Milwaukee defenders and Trump defenders.

Wisconsin Republicans leapt to Trump’s defense, refuting the insinuation that Trump had trashed the Badger State’s most populous city.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) wrote “Lies busy omission” in response to Punchbowl’s social media post.

“@realDonaldTrump was specifically referring to the crime the CRIME RATE in Milwaukee,” Van Orden posted on the social platform X, adding a screenshot of a 2023 news article that said the city ranks third for violent crimes nationwide.

President Biden’s campaign reacted to the reported comments, saying Milwaukee voters were “fed up” with the former president and MAGA Republicans.

“Voters in Milwaukee are fed up with Donald Trump and extreme MAGA Republicans not caring about them,” Biden-Harris Wisconsin campaign manager Garren Randolph said in a statement. “We’ll see that at the RNC – and then again in November, when Wisconsinites send Donald Trump packing.”

Biden’s X account posted a photo Thursday of the president holding a “46” jersey and surrounded by players from the Milwaukee Bucks after the team’s NBA championship win in 2021.

“I happen to love Milwaukee,” Biden’s post said.

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