After rioters destroyed parts of Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey is seeking state and federal aid to assist in rebuilding efforts, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday.
In a conference call with governors, President Trump held Mayor Frey responsible for the heavy damage sustained to Minneapolis.
“And I don’t blame you," President Trump said to Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN). "I blame the [Minneapolis] mayor [Jacob Frey]. I mean I’ve never seen anything like it. Where the police were told to abandon the police house and it was ransacked, and really destroyed. Millions of millions of dollars are going to have to go back to fix it."
Minneapolis officials are still tallying the damage caused by rioters, warning current estimates are likely to rise significantly. As of Friday, fires have destroyed at least 67 businesses and nearly 500 more in the Twin Cities area have experienced vandalism and looting, the Star Tribune reported. In hard-hit Minneapolis, local assessments are coming in around $150 million.
Gov. Walz and members of the state's congressional delegation, including Rep. Ilhan Omar and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, are also lobbying the federal government for assistance.
The likelihood of Minneapolis or St. Paul receiving federal disaster money to clean up after rioters does not look promising. The decision rests with President Trump, and cities have inconsistently received federal funding in the wake of riots. The Star Tribune cited the example of the 2015 riots in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. FEMA denied Gov. Larry Hogan's request of around $19 million for public agencies responding to the unrest.
"To be realistic, the odds of that happening are, at best, very difficult," admitted Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN). "If it is demonstrated [that] outside provocateurs committed acts of destruction, then there is a clear rationale for an emergency declaration by President Trump."
Townhall's Julio Rosas was live on the ground in Minneapolis covering days of destructive riots following outrage over the death of George Floyd.