Photo by Adam Kelnhofer, Kenosha, Wis., Aug. 26, 2020.

Gov. Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul are calling on President Trump to abandon plans to visit Kenosha tomorrow.

The two Dems say the trip would divert law enforcement forces from cleanup efforts and could sow more division after a week of sometimes violent protests.

But a White House spokesman says the president is looking forward to the visit to help the city “heal and rebuild.”

And Trump tweeted this morning, “If I didn’t INSIST on having the National Guard activate and go into Kenosha, Wisconsin, there would be no Kenosha right now. Also, there would have been great death and injury. I want to thank Law Enforcement and the National Guard. I will see you on Tuesday!”

Local officials first asked the state to send National Guard troops early Aug. 24. The troops arrived that night, and Evers doubled the initial deployment of 125 to 250 the next day, when he also initially declined federal assistance with the violent protests.

In a letter to the president late yesterday afternoon, Evers wrote he is worried Trump’s presence would “only hinder our healing” following the unrest in Kenosha after a police officer shot a Black man in the back seven times. Evers wrote the people he visited in Kenosha last week “are exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community” but also working to rebuild and support each other.

“Now is not the time for divisiveness,” Evers wrote. “Now is not the time for elected officials to ignore armed militants and out-of-state instigators who want to contribute to our anguish.”

The White House said late Saturday that Trump plans to visit Kenosha to tour the damage from the violent protests and meet with law enforcement.

On Twitter yesterday, Kaul noted Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said last week “the more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” Kaul said rather than thinking what’s best for the president’s campaign, he and his advisers should think of what’s best for the people he represents.

“A president should be coming to Kenosha—to help people, to listen, to condemn violence and vigilantism, and to lead. But we know that isn’t Donald Trump,” Kaul wrote.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized.”

Read Evers’ letter:
https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/200830Evers.pdf

See Kaul’s tweet:
https://twitter.com/JoshKaulWI/status/1300190571215155203

See Trump’s tweet:
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1300420725837266944

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