President Donald Trump said Thursday that Seattle only moved to shut down the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP) because he was sending federal forces into the city to get the job done.
“We were going in, we were going and very soon,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on his evening show. “We let them know that and all of a sudden, they didn’t want that.”
“So they went in before we got there but we were going and very shortly, very soon,” the president continued, “and we would’ve taken the CHOP … We would have taken it back very easily, but they went in, and frankly, the people just gave up.” (RELATED: Before And After Photos: Here’s What Seattle’s ‘CHAZ’ Has Done To The City)
Hannity raised the issue after he explained that “a source” had told him that the president had essentially told Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan that if she didn’t move against the “autonomous zone,” he would.
“Is there any truth to that?” Hannity asked.
“100%,” Trump responded.
Seattle police arrested 23 people on July 1 after Durkan ordered the zone, first known as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), shut down. Police said they made the arrests because some people were not leaving area after Durkan issued an emergency executive order labeling CHOP as an unlawful assembly.
“They were tired,” Trump said of the situation in Seattle. “They had it for a long period of time,” the president said, noting that he had told Minneapolis to use the National Guard to quell rioting “after four or five days of horror.” (RELATED: ‘I Gotta Bury My Son Tomorrow’: Father Of Teenager Slain At Seattle’s CHAZ Speaks Out In Emotional Interview With Hannity)
“We insisted that they do it,” Trump said, noting that when the troops arrived in Minneapolis, “they walked through it like a knife goes through butter. That was the end of their problem. That was it. It was a great job done by the National Guard.”
“And yeah, we were all set to go into Seattle. Frankly, I looked forward to it.”
Durkan called for CHOP to be broken up June 22, following a weekend that saw three shootings, reported the Seattle Times. She also addressed the end of the zone on Twitter.
But the recent public safety threats have been well documented. These acts of gun violence resulted in the tragic deaths of two teenagers, with multiple others seriously wounded. Despite continued efforts to deescalate and bring community together, this violence demanded action.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) July 1, 2020
The father of a boy who was killed in CHOP said he received a phone call of condolence from Trump but not from the city’s mayor.
The Daily Caller has reached out to the Seattle mayor’s office for comment and is awaiting a reply.