Trump says he isn’t meeting with Blake family because they wanted ‘lawyers involved’

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBirx says she’s hopeful about coronavirus vaccine but urges people to ‘do the right thing today’ McGahn argued Kushner’s security clearance should be downgraded: book Wisconsin governor urges Trump not to visit Kenosha: ‘I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing’ MORE said Monday that he is not planning to meet with members of Jacob Blake’s family while in Kenosha, Wis., because they wanted to have “lawyers involved” which he called “inappropriate.”

“I spoke with the pastor, wonderful man, the family’s pastor. I thought it would be better not to do anything where there are lawyers involved,” Trump told reporters Monday when asked why he wasn’t planning to meet with the Blake family during his trip to Wisconsin on Tuesday.

“They wanted me to speak but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn’t do that,” Trump continued. “I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone and I said, no that’s inappropriate, but I just gave my best regards.”

On Tuesday, Trump will visit Kenosha, which has been the site of protests and in some cases violence since last week after Blake, a Black man, was shot in the black seven times by a police officer. Blake is currently in critical condition in the hospital following his injuries. The Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the shooting.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News earlier Monday that the administration has been “efforting outreach” to the Blake family but hadn’t been able to connect with them. Chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsShutdown politics set to collide with coronavirus aid Meadows blames Pelosi ‘fantasy objection’ for impasse on coronavirus relief talks President’s supporters, opponents paint dueling portraits of ‘Donald Trump’s America’ MORE left messages with the Blake family and has been speaking with the family’s pastor, his office said.

Meanwhile, Ben Crump, the attorney for the Blake family, said on MSNBC Monday that he had not received any calls from the White House to set up a meeting. Crump also noted that he helped arrange a phone call with Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi, Biden slam Scalise for doctored video that altered activist’s words Wisconsin governor urges Trump not to visit Kenosha: ‘I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing’ Biden to campaign in Pennsylvania Monday, ask ‘are you safe in Donald Trump’s America?’ MORE and his running mate Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisNRA: Biden will destroy Second Amendment if elected A Trump victory promises 4 more years of American carnage Crump: White House has not contacted Blake family but ‘we will see’ MORE (D-Calif.) last week.

Trump is expected to meet with law enforcement and survey damage from violence in Kenosha on Tuesday. His trip comes as Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversWisconsin governor urges Trump not to visit Kenosha: ‘I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing’ ACLU demands Kenosha officials resign following the shooting of Jacob Blake The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Pence rips Biden as radical risk MORE (D) recommended he not make the trip, saying it could further inflame tensions.

Trump shrugged off those concerns on Monday, telling reporters that his visit “could also increase enthusiasm and it could also increase love and respect for our country.” 

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