Watch CBS News

Trump Arrives In LA, Signals 'Doing Something' About Homeless Crisis

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — President Donald Trump arrived Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles after saying residents are fed up with homelessness and his administration will be "doing something" about it.

The president spoke about the problem Tuesday aboard Air Force One before Air Force One landed at LAX around 4:15 p.m. as part of a campaign fundraising stop.

Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters he was looking "very seriously" at creating some type of "individual task force" to address the homelessness issue.

"We can't let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what's happening," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One before traveling to the Bay Area, where he landed around 11 a.m.

"We have people living in our ... best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings ... where people in those buildings
pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige," the president said. "In many cases [building tenants] came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents. Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave.

"And the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up," he said. "And we're looking at it, and we'll be doing something about it."

Last week, Trump sent a White House delegation to L.A. to meet with Mayor Eric Garcetti to examine the local response to the homelessness crisis, which the president has described as the result of liberal political policies, particularly in so-called sanctuary cities.

US president Donald Trump just landed at LAX on his way to attend fundraisers in Los Angeles on September 17, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Garcetti has left the door open to the possibility of federal government aid to L.A. with surplus property or money to create additional shelters. The mayor also pushed back on a White House report that suggests using law enforcement in combating homelessness, saying it's not possible for authorities to arrest their way out of the issue.

Garcetti said he has not been invited to meet with the president while he's in L.A., but he posted a video to social media taken from one of the city's homeless shelters.

"It is time for us to pause politics and not to demonize Americans who are on the street," Garcetti said in the video. "This is your watch, Mr. President. This is our watch."

It was announced Tuesday night that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson would meet with Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore on Wednesday morning in L.A.

During his stop in the Southland Tuesday, Trump will take part in a roundtable before attending a fundraiser hosted by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer before traveling Wednesday to San Diego.

Tickets to the fundraiser reportedly start at $1,000 for individuals and go up to $100,000 for couples who will also get to attend a VIP reception and have a photo opportunity with the president. The Beverly Hills fundraising event will be one of four across the state during this trip, and the GOP says they expect to raise more than $15 million.

Los Angeles was frequently visited by President Barack Obama, but this is only Trump's fourth trip here and demonstrations are expected.

Trump was not the only politician visiting Los Angeles Tuesday. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke visited Skid Row Tuesday morning before an afternoon roundtable discussion.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.