President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE on Thursday lashed out at former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge for criticizing his decision to send federal agents to Chicago and other cities, calling him a “Republican in name only.”
“Recently watched failed RINO Tom Ridge, former head of Homeland Security, trying to justify his sudden love of the Radical Left Mayor of Portland, who last night was booed & shouted out of existence by the agitators & anarchists,” Trump tweeted Thursday.
“Love watching pathetic Never Trumpers squirm!” Trump continued.
Ridge has sharply criticized Trump’s recent decisions to send federal officials to cities in order to quell demonstrations and crack down on violent crime. Trump’s tweet came after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) was teargassed after meeting with protesters, apparently by federal agents who have swarmed the city streets purportedly to protect a courthouse there.
After Trump announced Wednesday that he would “immediately surge” federal officials to Chicago, Ridge described it as a “reality TV approach” to a serious problem and questioned whether the Trump administration even had a plan to address violence in Chicago.
“I'm not even sure they have a plan. Have they talked to the mayor? Have they talked to the chief of police? Have they talked to the U.S. attorney?” Ridge said during an appearance on CNN Wednesday.
“They'll leave in a couple of weeks and the lawlessness will reemerge, and they still haven't dealt with the social and the economic conditions that underpin the lawlessness,” he continued. “So it’s a very disappointing response to a serious problem but it’s typical of someone who thinks reality TV is real.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) had opposed the decision to send federal agents to the city.
Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania, also said earlier this week in a radio interview that he disapproved of Trump’s “unilateral” approach to combating lawlessness on American streets.
“It would be a cold day in hell before I would consent to an uninvited, unilateral intervention into one of my cities,” he said on “The Michael SmerconishMichael SmerconishSean Penn says COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory 'like turning your headlights on ... at night' CNN's Smerconish lauds Trump on ,000 relief checks: 'Most effective thing he's done' post election Trump attacks former DHS secretary over criticism of federal crackdown MORE Program.”
Ridge served as the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush after the agency was stood up following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Ridge has not been a supporter of Trump and has previously expressed criticism of the president, including saying last year he believed Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that triggered his impeachment were an abuse of power.
Trump often publicly denounces those who criticize him, including Republican lawmakers, former officials and even members of his own administration. Earlier Thursday, the president attacked House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Memo: Trump's Arizona embarrassment sharpens questions for GOP House passes sweeping defense policy bill Trump rips Bush for backing Cheney MORE (Wyo.) after Republicans accused her of trying to undermine the president’s agenda.