U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on “Wisconsin Community Safety”after he surveyed property damage while visiting Kenosha in the aftermath of recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice and the ensuing violence after the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump directed officials to identify “anarchist jurisdictions” with the intent to cut funding from major Democratic-led cities in a memo released Wednesday. The move would threaten billions of dollars from the country’s largest urban centers. 

“Anarchy has recently beset some of our states and cities,” Trump wrote in the memo while mentioning Portland, Seattle and New York. “My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.” Hours later, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was the first official to respond in an emergency press briefing, warning the president that “he better have an army if he thinks he’s gonna walk down the street in New York.” 

Mayors threatened to sue. Legal experts, however, doubted Trump had the power to significantly reduce funding to major cities. Congress determines how funding is distributed, and agencies cannot “willy-nilly” restrict funding, Sam Berger, a former senior policy advisor at the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, told The Guardian. The five-page memorandum “reads like a campaign press release,” Berger said. “The first two pages are a bizarre diatribe – that’s not what a government document looks like.” 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Democrat Mayors Of ‘Lawless’ Cities That Trump Intends To Defund Respond To His Plan – The Daily Wire – 9/3/2020
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by writing on Twitter: “While @realDonaldTrump spent this year hiding from COVID-19, New York City led the fight back. Now we’re trying to recover and he’s making unconstitutional, political threats against us.”

Trump issues memo to cut funding from “anarchist” Democratic cities – Axios – 9/3/2020
The review threatens to withdraw federal funding for any “anarchist jurisdiction” it finds “disempowers or defunds police departments.” 

Trump signs memo to defund ‘lawless’ cities but experts raise legality doubts – The Guardian – 9/2/2020
The memorandum that the White House shared on Wednesday night, which specifically names Portland, New York City, Seattle and Washington DC as examples of jurisdictions that might lose federal funding, is unlikely to result in any of those cities losing significant funding.

AG Barr Says Antifa ‘Flying Around’ US to Incite Violence – Newsmax – 9/2/2020
U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday said the Justice Department was monitoring the protest movement Antifa, saying that it is at the heart of violence in cities around the country.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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