As a candidate, Donald Trump was fond of holding Chicago up as an example of a city in disarray.
“Look at Chicago! Look at what’s going on!” Trump said at a campaign stop last summer.
When he accepted the republican nomination for president, Trump vowed to restore law and order to our country.
As president, Trump implied there’s a quick fix: “They have a problem that's very easily fixable but they have to get tougher, stronger and smarter - but they have to fix the problem," President Trump told ABC News.
While President Trump could order the FBI, ATF or DEA to divert more resources to fight Chicago’s violence problem, sources tell WGN Investigates it hasn’t happened yet. However, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson emerged from a meeting at the Justice Department last week to say he’s “very optimistic” additional help is on the way.
During the first two months of the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanded the resignations of all U.S. Attorneys who service during the Obama years. That included Chicago’s top federal prosecutor Zach Fardon. The person picked to replace him will have new marching orders.
"In Illinois that could mean a lot of things,” said former federal prosecutor Pat Brady. While previous U.S. Attorneys have made public corruption a top target, Trump’s team has indicated national security cases will take highest priority.
“We've had the president throughout the campaign and in the last couple of months talking about Chicago's crime problem, it's probably time for him to put or shut-up - to put somebody in there who's actually going to work on the gang and drug problem," Brady said. Brady is also a former GOP state chairman and frequent Trump critic.
On immigration, government data just crunched by Northwestern's Deportation Research Clinic show Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were on track to detain more than 12,000 people last month across the country. That would be a 173% increase over the same month two years ago on President Obama’s watch.
On healthcare the big question is what will replace Obamacare? Cook County officials fear the county could lose $300 million - or more - if Medicaid expansion is eliminated.
President Trump has also threatened to cut-off federal funding to municipalities that act as “sanctuary cities” and don’t report illegal immigrants. “We are aware of his threats against sanctuary governments and are not taking any such threats lightly,” Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan told WGN Investigates.
Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes gets soaked in President Trump's proposed budget. There's bi-partisan opposition to Trump’s proposal to cut almost all of the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Fund. It’s money used to contain the spread of Asian carp and keep fresh waterways fresh.
On Monday White House spokesman Sean Spicer pushed back against critics of cuts to the EPA, the National Institutes of Health and other entities. "There's an assumption in Washington that if you're not spending money on a subject you're not caring as much,” Spicer said. “When you look at the problems and agencies, in many cases they're not meeting the mission."
There are a host of other budget proposals that have everyone from Chicago’s democratic mayor to Illinois’ republican governor concerned. Interestingly, Governor Rauner’s team declined to comment today on how President Trump’s spending priorities may impact the state.