White House Press Secretary calls Chicago mayor “derelict”. Mayor responds by calling her a “Karen”.


CHICAGO, IL – Contentiousness erupted Thursday between Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, with McEnany referring to the mayor as “derelict.” Lightfoot responding by telling McEnany, said:

“Hey, Karen, watch your mouth.”

The interaction began with a press conference in which McEnany twice pointed out the problems of violence in Chicago.

McEnany stated:

“There are other things the president has to focus on, namely, Democrat cities not controlling their streets.  Namely, the mayor of Chicago. 

“People dying on the streets of her city every weekend.  The president sent her a letter saying, ‘You must secure your city.’”

Indeed, Trump sent a letter on June 26 addressed to both Mayor Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, calling for them to address increasing violence in Chicago.

Citing unprecedented increase in shootings and homicides in Chicago, the President wrote,

“Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect.  I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement….

“Violence and death, which are disproportionately harming young African Americans, are tragic and unacceptable, particularly on such a shocking scale….

“More Americans have been killed in Chicago than in combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq combined since September 11, 2001, a deadly trend that has continued under your tenure.”

The President pointed out that the millions of taxpayer-funded federal dollars sent to Chicago and Cook County in recent years:

“…are not being turned into results, and the safety of your most vulnerable communities continues to deteriorate.” 

Trump then offered the assistance of his administration in assisting with and working toward finding solutions, saying,

“If you are willing to put partisanship aside, we can revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago, together.  But to succeed, you must establish law and order.”

Reportedly, neither the mayor nor the governor responded to this letter.

Interestingly, Lightfoot has replied to criticisms of her response to escalating violence in gun-controlled Chicago by deflecting to a lack of  “federal strategy”. She said,

“There’s way too many illegal guns on our streets, and we can’t fight that fight alone.  We got to have a federal strategy on this. We’re going to continue to do what we can do.

“We’re going to continue to make sure that we are flooding these dangerous hot spots with resources to make sure that we keep our communities safe, but we’re fighting a losing battle.

“If we don’t have a federal partnership on restricting access to guns in the hands of dangerous criminals, we’ve got to have partnership on that.”

Lightfoot appears to have a habit of deflecting criticism on her handling of Chicago violence, having blamed Trump and even the neighboring state of Indiana for the tragic uptick in gun violence.

Later in the Thursday press conference, McEnany again brought up Mayor Lightfoot, saying:

“…one point [President Trump] wants to strongly make is this:  that black men and women who die of homicide, they are likely to die of homicide at eight times greater than that of white individuals and Hispanics combined.  That’s the rate combined. 

“So that’s an extraordinary thing that we want to look at. 

“I’ve listed for you the names of these kids who have died across this country.  It is unacceptable.

“And under this president, he’ll take action, and the derelict mayor of Chicago should step up and ask for federal help, because she’s doing a very poor job at securing her streets.”

In response to this message, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called McEnany a “Karen” and told her,

“Watch your mouth.”

“Karen,” of course, is a commonly used slur referring to a white woman who is supposedly persnickety and critical, with or without a severe haircut.

It’s certainly not the first time Lightfoot has taken on the White House in combative terms. 

In response to Trump’s comments in May about Minneapolis rioters dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, Lightfoot stated:

“I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It’s two words. It begins with F and it ends with U.”

But does McEnany have a point?  Is there dereliction on the part of the mayor?

Let’s take a look at some sad facts.

As of July 2, there have been at least 336 murders in Chicago this year.  In 2019, there were 492 total.

Over Memorial Day weekend, gunshot victims numbered 11 dead and over 40 wounded.

Back then, Lightfoot seemed even to acknowledge some responsibility in responding to the violence, saying:

“We have to do better. We cannot have weekends in the summer turn into a bloodbath. And this weekend’s violence was out of control…

“While I know that there was a lot of energy and coordination among a variety of groups, what I said to the superintendent this morning is, ‘This was a fail. Whatever the strategy is, it didn’t work.’”

Sadly, over the Fourth of July weekend alone, at least 70 people were shot and 14 were killed. 

Chicago violence continues at a horrific rate.  The weekend ending July 12 saw dozens shot and eight killed, including a 15 year old boy.

Just today, two adults and a 5 month old infant in Chicago were shot and hospitalized.

The letter quoted above was not the only time the President has offered to assist Mayor Lightfoot with violence in her city. 

He tweeted July 5th:

“Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up.  67 people shot in Chicago, 13 killed.  Shootings up significantly in NYC were people are demanding @NYGovCuoma & @NYCMayor act now.  Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!” 

Yet in spite of all the news of increasing violence, the federal dollars pouring into Chicago, and the President’s offers -plural- to help with the situation, Lightfoot evidently can do nothing more than offer pejoratives, and her only action so far on the matter appears to be deflection.

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Below is more on the violence in Chicago:

The weekend ending on July 12th proved to be yet another violent one for the city of Chicago, with reportedly dozens shot and eight people killed. Of those fatally gunned down, reports say that one of the victims was a 15-year-old boy.

As of Sunday, July 12th, gun-controlled Chicago managed to reach 47 people shot during that very weekend. Of those 47 people injured by gunfire, police say that eight were killed over the three-day period.

The most recent fatal shooting happened on the morning of July 12th, when a 52-year-old man was gunned down while two others were critically wounded in a shooting that took place in Humboldt Park on the city’s West Side.

According to the Chicago Police department, the trio of victims were struck by gunfire at 12:44 a.m. in the 1100-block of North Lawndale Avenue after getting into some sort of a physical confrontation with a group of individuals present.

Police say that the 52-year-old man was hit in the neck with gunfire, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have not apprehended any suspects in said shooting.

A few hours prior to the early morning shooting on Sunday, police say that a 33-year-old woman was shot dead and two others were wounded in a shooting that took place in Avalon Park. CPD says that the shooting happened around 9:40 p.m. No leads or suspects were mentioned, as the assailant(s) were said to have indiscriminately fired upon the three women in the park that evening.

On July 11th at approximately 1:04 a.m., police responded to a shots fired call in Park Manor on the city’s South Side. Upon arriving, police discovered the body of a 41-year-old man in an alley in the 7000-block of South King Drive. Investigators reported that the victim was shot in the back and chest and that no one is in custody as of now.

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Shortly thereafter, another 41-year-old male was found shot to death at 1:32 a.m. in the 300-block of North Ashland Avenue. Police say the victim was found with a gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead on the scene. Once again, no suspects are in custody at this time.

A double shooting that took place on July 10th in Roseland within the city’s South Side left a man wounded and a 26-year-old woman fatally shot after some sort of a verbal spat at a local gas station.

Witnesses say that the two victims had gotten into some kind of argument with two individuals at a gas station located nearby 111th and State street, and the two individuals followed the victims’ vehicle and began firing shots at it. There’s no word yet on any possible suspects in custody.

Police also say that 15-year-old boy was fatally shot on July 10th within the city’s South Side at approximately 4:48 p.m. on the 9800 block of South Hoxie Avenue. Reports indicate that the young man was standing on the street when a vehicle pulled up and opened fire on him, shooting him in the back.

There’s been no word yet if anyone is in custody regarding the case.

An unidentified male was also found shot and killed inside of a home at about 5:30 a.m. on July 10th in the 5400-block of South Talman Avenue, according to the CPD. A witness referred to the deceased as their friend and stated someone shot him inside the home and departed, but was unable to recollect the victim’s name when questioned, despite saying they were friends.

Another male victim was gunned down while standing on the sidewalk at about 10:55 a.m. on the 4000-block of West Potomac Avenue. Witnesses allege that someone ran up to the victim and shot them. Police say that the unnamed victim was around their 20-30s, and died shortly after arriving at the hospital. It was noted that he was shot four times collectively, among the face, chest and torso.

There also have been no arrests mentioned yet by police in said case.

In the meantime, a 23-month-old boy was killed on Tuesday when he was beaten to death during a domestic dispute in a Bronzeville, a south side Chicago neighborhood, authorities said

Police said the suspect punched the 23-month-old boy multiple times in the face around 12:11 p.m. on the 4200 block of South Calumet Avenue.

The young child, Antwun Gayden, was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at at 12:41 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the Chicago Sun-Times reported

According to police, the adult male suspect, with whom they have a long history with, has an unspecified mental illness and was taken into custody at the scene. 

Area One detectives are investigating and charges are pending, a Chicago Police Department spokesman told Fox News

In addition to police, The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the situation, said chief of staff Jassen Strokosch. Strokosch said DCFS had no prior contact with the family.

Chicago has seen a spike in violence in recent weeks. Since mid-June, four children under the age of 10, all unintended targets according to police, have lost their lives to gun violence, CBS Chicago has reported. 

  • On June 20th, 3-year-old Mekhi James was shot in the back while riding in his stepfather’s SUV on the 600 block of North Central Avenue. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but later was pronounced dead. Police have said the shooter was targeting the 27-year-old stepfather.
  • On June 27th, 1-year-old Sincere Gaston was shot and killed while riding home from the laundromat with his mother in Englewood. His mother was also grazed by a bullet. Police have said the shooter may have been targeting Sincere’s father, who was not in the car.
  • On June 28th, 10-year-old Lena Nunez was fatally wounded when a stray bullet pierced the window of an apartment in Logan Square, as a group of men apparently was shooting at someone else on the street outside.
  • On the Fourth of July, 7-year-old Natalia Wallace was shot in the head while playing in her grandmother’s front yard in the South Austin neighborhood. Investigators claim a group of gunmen opened fire on the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue, in apparent retaliation for an earlier shooting that killed a brother of one of the shooters. Police have made on arrest, that being the alleged getaway driver, who is being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery. The three others involved are still on the loose. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the death of Natalia Wallace on Monday.

She said:

“Thoughts and prayers are simply not enough at this point. Sorrow itself is not enough. What it says is we need to do better as a city.”

In response to recent violence, Pastor Donovan Price called for residents to take back their city, recalling meeting the family of a Sincere Gaston, the 1-year-old who was shot leaving a laundromat with his mother in June.

The Pastor remembered:

“Utter chaos, of course. And sadness, grief beyond grief.

“Some of the worst things you could ever imagine: a mother losing her child. Blood all over the mother. [I] got blood on me. She herself had a graze wound to her head. Since then, a 3-year-old I’d worked with who was shot as well.”

Chicago Police released statistics showing there were at least 17 people killed by gunfire over the Fourth of July holiday weekend alone, including multiple children. An additional 70 people were wounded. 

This comes as Chicago Police  Superintendent David Brown plead with residents to come together with police, the government and the courts to make the city’s streets safer, in an op-ed published in the Chicago Tribune on Monday.

Brown appeared to take a well-deserved jab at the courts when he wrote:

“We cannot expect community members to turn criminals over to the police if they know that our criminal justice system will return most of those criminals right back to the street.”

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