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President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a commission to study the administration of justice following an address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) convention on October 28, 2019 in Chicago. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

'Call It the Surge': Vowing Nationwide Crackdown, Trump Touts Tougher and More Militarized US Police

"They didn't want to make you look so tough," the president told a room full of cops on Monday. "They didn't want to make you look like you're a threat."

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump on Monday said the Justice Department is preparing to launch a sweeping crackdown on crime that he named "the surge," a term commonly associated with the George W. Bush administration's decision to send tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq in 2007.

"In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime—which I think is so important—targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas," Trump said during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. "Let's call it the surge."

The president did not provide any details on the plan but said it is going to be "very dramatic."

"And you're going to see tremendous results very quickly," Trump added.

As if to emphasize his view of America's cities as war zones, Trump went on to tout his administration's success in putting military equipment into the hands of U.S. police officers and claimed "Afghanistan is a safe place" compared to Chicago.

"To help keep you safe, I've made $600 million-worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement," Trump told the audience of police chiefs. "If you remember, the previous administration didn't want to do that... They didn't want to make you look so tough. They didn't want to make you look like you're a threat."

Watch Trump's remarks:

Trump's visit to Chicago, the first of his presidency, was met with massive protests led by Indivisible Chicago and other progressive advocacy groups. Striking Chicago public school teachers also cleared their Monday afternoon schedule to take part in demonstrations against the president.

"We have heard that President Donald Trump might be in town," leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union wrote in an email to members late Sunday. "If any members were inclined to show up outside his fundraiser in red, that would qualify as productive, in our view.”

Thousands of protesters gathered and marched outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago, where the president attended a big-money campaign fundraiser after the law enforcement conference:

"We're angry," Marj Halperin of Indivisible Chicago told The Guardian. "He is taking pleasure in the misery of our city. He doesn't know us. He's coming to our city to raise money, largely from people who don't live in this city, without ever having addressed, supported, listened to the people who really need help."


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'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·


Assange Makes Final Appeal Against US Extradition

"If Julian Assange is not free, neither are we," said a protester at a Friday demonstration against the WikiLeaks founder's impending transfer. "None of us is free."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money': Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

"It was the conservative court's larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans' health and safety," warned one expert.

Jake Johnson ·

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