President Donald Trump on Monday lambasted Democrats for being soft on crime and said a wave of Democratic midterm election victories would only lead to more crime.
He centered his criticism on Democrats’ lack of support and even hostility toward law enforcement, specifically Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol. Holding a White House event to honor federal immigration officials, Trump said law and order is popular and will lead to Republican victories in November.
Recent Stories in National Security
"I think we’re going to do very well in the midterms, and this is one of the very big reasons. The fact is, people respect law and order, and they love our law enforcement," Trump said. "I think we’re going to have much more of a red wave than what you’re going to see as a phony blue wave. Blue wave means crime, it means open borders. Not good."
As Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called for ICE to be abolished, Trump described the idea as shameful and dangerous. He went after "radical" Democrats and their "campaign to abolish ICE, in other words they want to abolish America’s borders."
He called out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) by referring to his comment last week that America "was never that great," which he later reversed after negative publicity.
"Any politician that puts criminal aliens before American citizens should find a new line of work," Trump said, to applause. "And any politicians that get up and say that our country was never great–you heard that? I think that’s the end of that career."
He criticized Democratic members of Congress as well for not voting for a resolution supporting ICE.
"Last month, House Democrats even boycotted a resolution supporting our brave ICE officers and agents, but I will say this, the Republicans were with you all the way."
Trump also criticized the notion that it serves social justice to oppose secure borders, saying Democrats’ policies in that direction only create more injustice.
"Their radical policies are the ultimate injustice, hurting innocent Americans and spilling innocent blood," he said. "People are dying because of their either lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, or just plain stupidity."
The president also called it "shameful" that Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered local law enforcement to stand down in the face of anti-ICE protesters who successfully shut down a local ICE office due to security concerns. Although Wheeler acknowledged the protesters' unruly behavior, federal agents wrote a cease-and-desist letter in which they accused the mayor of having cops not follow up on 911 calls.