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President Trump says administration will 'do everything in its power' to defund Seattle

(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)
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SEATTLE (KOMO) — President Donald Trump said in a tweet Wednesday evening his administration will "do everything in its power" to defund Seattle and other major cities due to ongoing protests.

"My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today. @RussVought45," Trump said in a tweet.

An exclusive report from the New York Post said Trump is ordering the federal government to begin the process of Seattle, New York City and two other cities where officials allowed “lawless” protests and cut police budgets amid rising violent crime.

Trump signed a five-page memo Wednesday ordering federal agencies to detail funds that can be redirected from Seattle and other cities, according to the New York Post.

In response to Trump's memo, Mayor Jenny Durkan's office released a statement Wednesday evening, calling his plans "unlawful."

Here is the full statement from Durkan's office:

Seattle and cities across America have faced unprecedented challenges with a global pandemic, an economic crisis and a civil rights reckoning. We have lost a record number of American lives, jobs and businesses.
At every turn we badly needed leadership from the President. Yet we have the opposite. No protection for our health care workers, first responders, our small businesses or our local governments who have been on the frontlines of these crises.
For four years, he has raged at cities and threatened them. Consistently Courts have had to reign him in, to tell him he did not have the powers of a despot and is not above the law. Now his bluster continues by threatening to deny federal funding (including COVID-19 funding) for millions of Americans.
The President’s actions continually harm cities and the millions of residents who live in our nation’s cities. At a time when our nation desperately needs healing, a cure to the virus and a federal government to lead us through this crisis, the President invents yet another way to divide.
President Trump cannot defund Seattle – it is unlawful. Surely the Attorney General has advised the President of the United States that he does not have the power to decide who gets funding based on his political interests.
This is the latest attempt to distract from the fact that COVID-19 has infected over 6 million Americans, killed 185,000 people, and destroyed the American economy. The only anarchy zone in America, where the rule of law is disregarded, is at the White House.
America’s cities will not be distracted by his actions. We will continue to work to bridge divides, rebuild our economy, address gun violence and system and systemic racism, and make our cities more just and equitable.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the Trump administration’s presidential memorandum aiming to undercut federal funding for Seattle and other states and cities is a "sham."

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“This illegal memorandum is a sham," Inslee's office said in a statement. "It is just the latest baseless, petty and divisive move by President Trump to distract from his abject failure to protect Americans from COVID-19. With more than 185,000 lives lost on his watch, we won’t forget. The president cannot and will not defund us. He is not a dictator and laws still apply to him. While we’re calling our lawyers, he should call his public health experts. This will not stand.”

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