State Watch

Nashville mayor says Trump hasn’t called since bombing

Nashville, Tenn., Mayor John Cooper (D) on Monday said that he has not spoken directly to President Trump since the intentional detonation of an RV in the city’s downtown on Christmas.

“No, I haven’t,” Cooper told CNN when asked if he had heard from the president since the bombing.

However, Cooper credited Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) for lobbying the president for a federal disaster declaration in the wake of the blast.

“Our senior senator I know talked to him yesterday, she said, and he apparently had been following the news very closely and was committing help from the federal government aspect for which we are grateful and we’ll need that,” he told CNN.

Cooper added that the damage to the city’s 2nd Avenue would compound the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic on local businesses.

“You’ve got facades that are in danger, windows shattered. People are going to have to expect it’s going to be months before it’s back to normal,” he said.

Cooper was cagey on possible motivations behind the bombing. Authorities have identified the suspected bomber as Anthony Quinn Warner, who they say died in the blast.

“It’s going to be some time before motive can be established. I don’t think anybody has a deep insight into that.”

Asked if he believed it was domestic terrorism, Cooper responded that “everybody … has been careful not to use the t-word here,” noting that no political manifesto or statement in connection with the bombing has surfaced thus far.

He also confirmed reports that Petula Clark’s “Downtown” had been audible from the recreational vehicle before it exploded, calling the detail “surreal.”

In a statement, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the president “has been briefed on the explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, and will continue to receive regular updates.”

“The President is grateful for the incredible first responders and praying for those who were injured,” Deere added.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Judd Deere Marsha Blackburn Nashville bombing

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