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11 Jul, 2020 18:47

Minnesota governor’s aid request denied by Washington, after Trump earlier blamed ‘total lack of leadership’ for riot damage

Minnesota governor’s aid request denied by Washington, after Trump earlier blamed ‘total lack of leadership’ for riot damage

The federal government has denied Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s request for aid to rebuild the riot-torn city of Minneapolis. US President Donald Trump had earlier blasted Walz’s handling of the recent riots there.

Between the death of George Floyd in late May and the arrival of the National Guard to restore order a week later, rioters in Minneapolis managed to inflict an estimated $500 million in damages, according to the Minnesota governor. 

Last week, Walz asked the federal government for up to $16 million to repair buildings set ablaze by arsonists. The request fell on deaf ears, a spokesman for the governor stated on Friday.

“The Governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support,” spokesman Teddy Tschann said in a statement.

“As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through.” 

Also on rt.com 'Do they care?' Minneapolis business owner left with nothing after riots calls out city officials for failing to help

It is unclear if Trump himself was responsible for the decision, as Walz’s request was addressed both to the president and to regional Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator James K. Joseph. However, the president has been a merciless critic of Walz for not calling in the National Guard sooner, and of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for ordering his police force to stand down as rioters took over and burned out a precinct.

In a scathing Twitter tirade, Trump called Frey a “very weak Radical Left Mayor.” As the National Guard retook control of the city a few days later, Trump said their job “should have been done by [the] Mayor on [the] first night and there would have been no trouble.”

Republicans in Minnesota were also angered by Walz’s and Frey’s milquetoast responses to the riots. In a letter to Trump on Thursday, Rep. Tom Emmer suggested that any aid package for his state should be accompanied by a thorough federal investigation “to fully understand the events which allowed for this level of destruction to occur and ensure it never happens again.”

On a state level, the president caused a stir last year when he threatened to pull wildfire aid from California if Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t get his “act together” and start controlled burns of overgrown forest areas.

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