Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti Respond to Trump's Absurd Homelessness Comments

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Last night on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” our president made some interesting comments on the homelessness crisis plaguing cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s something he has almost certainly never thought about before in his life. In fact, Trump apparently believes that the problem of homelessness began only two years ago.

Carlson said during the interview that American cities like San Francisco, LA, and New York City have “a major problem with filth.” Trump agreed and called the problem “sad.” He added, “We never had this in our lives before in this country.”

Lest we forget, this is a guy who was a major real estate developer in New York City during the 1980s, when there was an incredibly high rate of wealth inequality and homelessness that inspired massive programs to increase affordable housing. Guess he didn’t notice!

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Trump had more sage words on the homelessness crisis to impart.

“The people living there are living in hell,” Trump told Carlson. “Some of them have mental problems where they don’t even know they are living that way. In fact, perhaps they like living that way. They can’t do that. We can’t ruin our cities.”

“You have people that work in those cities, they work in office buildings,” he added. “To get into the building they have to walk through a scene that nobody would have believed possible.”

It’s unclear how Trump believes this reality squares with the economic growth he often touts as a result of his presidency.

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Unsurprisingly, the president told Carlson he blames “the liberal establishment” for the problem. He added that cities plagued by homelessness “are usually sanctuary cities, they are run by very liberal people, and the states are run by very liberal people.”

“Do these governors or mayors, do they really think this is a positive?” Trump said. “Do they really think it’s O.K.? It’s not. It’s destroying their city.”

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Those governors and mayors have fired back in response to Trump’s accusations. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Los Angeles Times that the comments were “political cheap shots [that] don’t solve difficult problems.”

“I welcome any investment this administration wants to make in our local, and what is a national, problem,“ Garcetti added.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom also responded to the interview during a press conference in Emeryville, CA.

“There’s a lot of vibrancy, a lot of good things happening and there’s also a big homeless problem. None of us are in denial about that,” Newsom told reporters, according to the Times. “It’s been festering for years and is getting worse.”

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So, what does Trump plan to do about the issue? On Carlson’s show, he wouldn’t elaborate beyond saying he “may intercede and do something to get that whole thing cleaned up.”

“You’ll have to ask him what ‘interceding’ means,” Newsom told reporters.If interceding means cutting budgets to help support services to get people off the street, he’s been very successful, at least advancing those provisions.”

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“It sounds like the president of the United States recognizes he has work to do on this issue. He is apparently committed to some intervention, which is encouraging,” Newsom added. “I’m looking forward to the details of his plan, and obviously he’s going to have to significantly change his budget.”

Garcetti had more pointed criticism.

“I hope, as a Christian, as a person who wants to make this country great again—in his own words—that he would take that to the street level, because this was happening on his watch, too,” Garcetti told the Times. “I’m not pointing fingers saying that he totally caused this.”

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Trump spokeswoman Judy Deere told the New York Times that Trump “has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies of overregulation, excessive taxation and poor public service delivery are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks.”

But don’t worry, folks, Trump is going to fix it, just like he apparently fixed homelessness in Washington, D.C. in order to clean up his own image.

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“I had a situation when I first became president. We had certain areas of Washington, D.C., where that was starting to happen,” Trump told Carlson. “I ended it very quickly. I said you can’t do that.”

“When you have leaders of the world coming in to see the president of the United States and they’re riding down a highway, they can’t be looking at that,” he added.

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