The White House announced it had instructed federal agencies to prepare reports for the White House Office of Management and Budget, setting a timeline for the agency to restrict federal grants from going to “anarchist jurisdictions.” The memo specifically mentions New York City; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and Washington, DC.
It’s also the latest extraordinary example of Trump seeking to use the power of the federal government to punish citizens who reside in areas that oppose him politically.
“My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones. To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities,” the memo states.
“It is also critical to ensure that Federal grants are used effectively, to safeguard taxpayer dollars entrusted to the Federal Government for the benefit of the American people.”
“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses,” Trump tweeted Wednesday evening.
“We’re putting them on notice today.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler rebuked the President on Twitter for threatening to pull funds that “Americans need to get through the pandemic and economic crisis.”
Wednesday’s memo sets a timeline of 30 days for the Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought to “issue guidance to the heads of agencies on restricting eligibility of or otherwise disfavoring, to the maximum extent permitted by law, anarchist jurisdictions in the receipt of Federal grants that the agency has sufficient lawful discretion to restrict or otherwise disfavor anarchist jurisdictions from receiving.”
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.