Donald Trump vowed to take on the homeless problem in Los Angeles and San Francisco, saying that “foreign tenants” who had come to the U.S. were leaving the country after discovering the scale of the issue in California, according to The Washington Post. The president landed in the Bay Area in California on Monday, a region where he has faced criticism and lobbied attacks of his own against city leaders.
Trump, who has criticized California cities in the past for a lack of strong leadership, pledged to save Los Angeles and San Francisco from themselves while speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One while flying to Silicon Valley, where he hosted a campaign fundraiser.
“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” Trump said.
The president claimed that “foreign tenants” had moved from other countries to live in California cities, only to find that homeless people were causing issues in the cities where they hoped to live.
“In many cases, they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,” Trump said. “Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave.”
He added that people in California enjoy the “best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings. . . where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige.”
But, he claimed, the prestige of those areas had been tarnished by homeless populations, something he pledged to address.
The federal government doesn’t have clear authority to address local issues like homelessness, but his administration has been working to tackle the problem. Solutions reportedly include razing existing tent cities and constructing temporary housing. Trump told reporters that residents from the two major California cities were “fed up” with the issue and police officers didn’t want to continue to handle the problems stemming from homelessness. He also alleged that officers had contracted diseases from dealing with homeless people.
Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, slammed Trump’s statement, saying that the president was more worried about the appearance of buildings and streets than those struggling with homelessness.
Trump’s trip to California comes as the president is facing a growing threat of impeachment hearings, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Just departed New Mexico for California, where we are delivering results! pic.twitter.com/EKWzgjTXyd
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2019