During a fundraising trip to the Bay Area this week, President Donald Trump allegedly has plans to join housing secretary Ben Carson in San Francisco to discuss solutions to our homelessness problem. What could go wrong?
The president's agenda for his Bay Area trip has not been made public and so we don't yet know where his Republican donor pals will be convening on Tuesday, but this will be Trump's first visit to the region since the 2016 campaign. CNN is reporting that Carson plans to swing through San Francisco Tuesday as well, and it sounds like a possible public speech may be planned, however unwise that may seem in a city where Trump can probably count his supporters on one small hand.
Though homelessness hasn't been a prominent agenda item of the president's, it's popped up in his tweets and rally speeches of late, specifically with regard to the homeless in California. As KPIX notes, Trump said at a rally in Baltimore last week, "We’re going to give them notice. In fact, we gave them notice today. “Clean it up, they’ve go to do something. These are our great American cities and they’re an embarrassment what the Democrats have let happen."
Speaking to KPIX, Assemblyman David Chiu has a probably accurate prediction about Trump's discussion of our local homeless problem, if and when he has it. "What he’s trying to do is do what Trump always does which is exploit an issue that he sees, give red meat to his base, and talk about doing something when he’s actually not going to do anything."
The Washington Post reports that in a stop in Los Angeles, Carson plans to address homelessness on Skid Row, and discuss a possibly illegal plan to relocate the homeless to an abandoned Federal Aviation Administration facility in Hawthorne that members of the Trump administration toured last week.
Talk of homelessness aside, it seems like Trump has bigger things to worry about when it comes to his arriving in the Bay Area and wanting to outrun protesters who are likely to track him down. In one incident when Trump arrived in Burlingame to attend a California Republican Party convention in 2016, there was so much protest and counter-protest activity going on outside that he and his entourage had to to hop over a freeway median and enter through a back door. In another incident, a melee broke out at a Trump event in San Jose in June 2016, in which protesters threw eggs and other objects at Trump supporters.
Harmeet Dhillon, a California Republican committeewoman from San Francisco, tells KPIX, "Everybody would like to know where the [Tuesday] event is but due to Bay Area failure on the president’s prior trip as ‘candidate Trump’ to keep attendees of the event in San Jose safe, I’m sure the secret service is particularly concerned about that issue."
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