Pence to headline 'Cops for Trump' event in Pennsylvania next week

Pence to headline 'Cops for Trump' event in Pennsylvania next week
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE's campaign announced Saturday that Vice President Pence will host a “Cops for Trump” event Thursday in Greensburg, Pa., a state Trump flipped in 2016 by less than 1 percentage point.

Greensburg sits in Westmoreland County, an area in western Pennsylvania that went for Trump by more than 30 points in 2016. It is exactly the kind of place where the president needs to juice turnout in his bid to repeat his success of four years ago. 

The event comes amid widespread protests over systemic racism and police brutality that have been ongoing since the end of May, when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

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The Trump administration and his campaign have sought to seize on the demonstrations, accusing protesters rallying to “defund the police” of trying to scrap law enforcement altogether in an attempt to shore up support, particularly among suburban voters.

Most protesters are not calling for the complete elimination of law enforcement, however. Rather, they are calling to move some funds away from the police to be invested in an array of other social services.

And while former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE has distanced himself from the “defund the police” movement, Trump and his allies have still tried to tie him to it. The campaign said in a press release that Thursday’s event will “reaffirm the Trump Administration's commitment to always back the blue and condemn Joe Biden for his embrace of the far-left 'defund the police' movement.” 

The administration has dug its heels into its “law and order” response, deploying federal agents to cities such as Portland, Ore., Seattle, Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M., to quell demonstrations and playing video of protests in Portland at a White House briefing this week.

The White House appears set to stretch is strategy into the months leading up to the election, with Trump suggesting more cities could see law enforcement officers.

“Democrat politicians, and these are the cities where you have the problem. If you look at Chicago, if you look at Detroit, if you look — I mean, look around any of these cities where we have the problems,” Trump said at a press conference this week.

“And we're sending them help, but we're really waiting for them to call for the big help, for the big numbers, for the large numbers of people that we have ready, willing and able,” he added.