Democratic mayors blast Trump, decline White House invite

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayors who had been invited to the White Ho...

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 11:38 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 11:38 PM

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayors who had been invited to the White House on Wednesday declined the invitation because of a Justice Department crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department escalated their fight against 23 so-called sanctuary cities, sending letters asking for greater compliance with federal immigration law.

Landrieu has been an outspoken critic of Trump

He's among the Democrats rumored to be eying a presidential run in 2020

Landrieu told reporters in Washington that he would not go to the meeting under "false pretenses," complaining that the meeting is supposed to focus on infrastructure but that the Justice Department's sanctuary cities move changed the equation.

"An attack on one of our cities' mayors who is following the Constitution is an attack on all of us. I will not be attending that meeting," he said.

New York City's de Blasio also tweeted that he would not attend.

"I will NOT be attending today's meeting at the White House after @realDonaldTrump's Department of Justice decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities," he wrote. "It doesn't make us safer and it violates America's core values."

At least the mayors of three cities that received Justice Department letters were meant to attend Wednesday's meeting: Michael Hancock of Denver, Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, and de Blasio.

Fischer will attend Wednesday's meeting at the White House, his spokeswoman Jean Porter tells CNN, despite his city receiving the letter.

Ahead of the meeting, though, Fischer slammed the Trump administration's decision to send the letter in the first place.

"This notice today is insisting that people send proof that they are in compliance with federal law, and I would bet that many of us up here have already done that," he told reporters in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. "So perhaps the mailbox at DOJ should be checked."

Representatives for Hancock did not immediately respond to questions about whether he still plans to attend the White House meeting.

At least one Republican mayor has decided not to attend the event. A spokesperson for the US Conference of Mayors also told CNN that Elizabeth Kautz, the Republican mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota, has declined the invite due to the Justice Department. Kautz is a past president of the US Conference of Mayors.

"Our goal here is to ensure compliance with applicable federal law. Our goal is to ensure that jurisdictions that will comply with applicable federal law receive the the grant money and can keep the grant money that they have already obtained," a senior Justice Department official said about the letters.

Cities such as New York have sought to fight Trump's immigration policy, leading the administration to threaten to cut federal funding if they do not comply. Despite their repeated attempts, courts have repeatedly blocked the Justice Department's attempts to crack down on the so-called sanctuary cities.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said before Landrieu and de Blasio declined to attend that the meeting was meant to focus on "the growing economy, as well as working together to tackle the opioid epidemic and rebuild the nation's aging infrastructure."

After they announced they would decline to attend, Walters said the White House was "disappointed" over their decision to "make a political stunt instead of participating in an important discussion with the President and his administration."

The "working session" between Trump and the mayors was slated to put leaders like Landrieu, de Blasio and Columbia, South Carolina's Stephen Benjamin in the same room with a man whom many of the mayors have used as a rhetorical foil for months, setting up the possibility for contentious exchanges.

Landrieu, whose term in New Orleans ends later this year, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, particularly on the way that he describes cities and his comments about Confederate monuments. Landrieu is among the Democrats rumored to be eying a presidential run in 2020.

The frequent criticism of Trump from mayors -- including Landrieu -- focus on the President's efforts to disparage American cities.

"Our cities are a source of American pride," Landrieu, who endorsed Hillary Clinton, wrote in an October 2016 post. "A candidate for President cannot make America prosperous if he doesn't understand that America's cities are, in fact, the backbone of the national economy."

CNN's Tal Kopan and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95106

Reported Deaths: 3570
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17404515
Cuyahoga12881482
Hamilton9248248
Lucas5035319
Montgomery409280
Summit3338217
Marion289644
Butler274360
Mahoning2437253
Pickaway236542
Stark1713137
Warren166935
Lorain165077
Columbiana158360
Trumbull1451105
Fairfield126427
Delaware121918
Licking115844
Clark109214
Lake105436
Wood95458
Clermont85911
Medina84833
Miami78137
Tuscarawas75614
Portage72460
Allen66742
Greene63511
Belmont59026
Richland54712
Ashtabula54445
Erie53527
Geauga53544
Mercer53513
Wayne50858
Ross4194
Huron3784
Ottawa36125
Athens3501
Sandusky34317
Darke34126
Madison33610
Hancock3332
Holmes3226
Auglaize2265
Lawrence2250
Union2221
Jefferson2103
Muskingum1991
Scioto1991
Putnam19817
Washington19822
Coshocton1856
Knox1857
Preble1722
Crawford1685
Seneca1673
Shelby1644
Morrow1602
Clinton1536
Hardin15312
Champaign1502
Fulton1411
Highland1361
Ashland1333
Defiance1324
Logan1302
Wyandot1257
Williams1243
Brown1181
Guernsey1127
Hocking1119
Carroll1105
Perry1093
Henry1081
Fayette1020
Monroe9118
Pike700
Van Wert701
Jackson680
Paulding620
Gallia581
Adams562
Vinton302
Meigs260
Harrison211
Morgan200
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 52°
Warmer Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events