As President Trump plans to make "law and order" a centerpiece of his presidential campaign between now and November 3, he has ordered the federal government to "defund" the cities of Seattle, Portland, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
In a five-page memo sent to all federal agencies, Trump said he wanted reports sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget that offered areas where funds could be redirected away from those cities that have allowed "lawless" protests to run wild in the streets.
"My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones," Trump said in the memo.
Besides ordering his agencies to detail all funds sent to those troubled cities, Trump also directed Attorney General Bill Barr to create a list of any other "anarchist jurisdictions" that "have refused to undertake reasonable measures" to curb violence.
Trump seemed to reserve most of his frustration for New York officials like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom the president claimed "have allowed violence to spike."
"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 percent from the same period in 2019. Amidst the rising violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed to cut one billion dollars from the New York Police Department (NYPD) budget, including by cancelling the hiring of 1,163 officers," Trump wrote.
According to other senior administration officials, the president is motivated to take these actions out of concern that the taxpayer will end up paying for "local politicians' dereliction of duty."