Trump attacks former DHS secretary over criticism of federal crackdown

Trump attacks former DHS secretary over criticism of federal crackdown
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district 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.

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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.

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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 SmerconishTrump attacks former DHS secretary over criticism of federal crackdown Former Homeland Security secretary says DHS not meant to be 'president's personal militia' Klobuchar to be next guest on Biden's podcast 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 CheneyGOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris Republicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker MORE (Wyo.) after Republicans accused her of trying to undermine the president’s agenda.