Live

Watch CBSN Live

Chicago area congressman says federal forces coming to his city could be "deeply disturbing"

Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, who represents a district encompassing the Chicago suburbs, is concerned that federal law enforcement officers sent to the city by President Trump could violate citizens' constitutional rights. President Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced on Thursday that the administration would send a "surge" of federal forces to Chicago to combat violent crime.

"I'm okay with federal forces coming so long as it's done in cooperation with local law enforcement," Krishnamoorthi told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett in this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast.

But he said he would find it "deeply disturbing" if federal forces acted like those deployed in Portland, Oregon, who have drawn criticism for their sometimes aggressive suppression of protesters against police brutality.

Listen to this episode on ART19

Highlights from this week's episode:

  • Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on federal forces being deployed to Chicago: "I'm okay with federal forces coming so long as it's done in cooperation with local law enforcement...If it's a Portland-style presence, where they are going to come and do whatever the heck they want on the streets of Chicago, that would be deeply disturbing."
  • President Trump's motivations in sending federal forces to cities: "The rhetoric that he uses in combination with his actions really cast doubt on his motives for doing what he's doing."
  • Federal officers' rights in cities: "I believe that federal authorities have the right to defend federal properties...What they are not allowed to do, which is what happened, is to start performing a policing function."
  • Next phase of coronavirus response: "I'm hearing that there's continued dissension and basically conflict within the Republican caucus and within the White House on what should be included."

"If it's a Portland-style presence, where they are going to come and do whatever the heck they want on the streets of Chicago, that would be deeply disturbing," Krishnamoorthi said.

Krishnamoorthi is also skeptical that Mr. Trump is truly concerned with violent crime in Chicago.

"The rhetoric that he uses in combination with his actions really cast doubt on his motives for doing what he's doing," he said.

He criticized Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who called some of the Portland protesters "violent criminals" in an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. Wolf said that federal forces were responsible for protecting federal property.

"I believe that federal authorities have the right to defend federal properties," Krishnamoorthi responded. "What they are not allowed to do, which is what happened, is to start performing a policing function."

Krishnamoorthi also talked about the next phase of coronavirus response legislation. Although House Democrats proposed and passed their own bill two months ago, Senate Republicans are currently negotiating their proposal with the White House.

"We're all waiting for Senator McConnell and the Senate to propose his legislation which presumably would reflect the White House and Senate Republican priorities," Krishnamoorthi said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senate Republicans have yet to unveil their proposal.

"I'm hearing that there's continued dissension and basically conflict within the Republican caucus and within the White House on what should be included," he said.

For more of Major's conversation with Krishnamoorthi, download "The Takeout" podcast on Art19, iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

Producers: Arden Farhi, Jamie Benson, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson
CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin, Julia Boccagno and Grace Segers
Show email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.com
Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast
Instagram: @TakeoutPodcast
Facebook: Facebook.com/TakeoutPodcast

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue