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Trump says he was ‘always planning on staying’ in Milwaukee for RNC as campaign denies report he eyed Chicago hotel

Trump says he was ‘always planning on staying’ in Milwaukee for RNC as campaign denies report he eyed Chicago hotel

Donald Trump says he was “always planning on staying” in Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention despite reports he eyed a Chicago hotel 95 miles away.

In a local television interview, Trump said he never wavered on plans to stay in the RNC host city for the July event. He made his comments as he prepared to take the stage in Racine, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for his first visit to the state after he reportedly called Milwaukee a “horrible city.” On stage, Trump declared he “loves” Milwaukee, as reports began to emerge he planned to stay in Chicago during the convention.

ABC7 Chicago and The New York Times both reported Trump planned to undertake the commute from the Windy City to the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee rather than stay nearby. The presumed Republican presidential nominee owns the Trump International Hotel in downtown Chicago.

Three separate sources spoke to ABC7 about the plans for the 2024 convention, including a high-ranking law enforcement officer, but the Trump campaign denied the report.

Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the campaign, told the network: “The president is planning to stay in Milwaukee for the Convention.”

Three people briefed on Trump’s travel logistics around the July convention dates also told the Times the same story.

When reporters from both the paper and ABC began asking questions on Tuesday, those plans changed two of the people said.

Supporters of former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at a campaign event in Racine, Wisconsin. He is now saying that he always planned to stay in Wisconsin during the Republican National Convention and downplayed reports he was looking at a Chicago hotel during the event.
Supporters of former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at a campaign event in Racine, Wisconsin. He is now saying that he always planned to stay in Wisconsin during the Republican National Convention and downplayed reports he was looking at a Chicago hotel during the event. (AP)

“Mr Trump now intends to stay in Milwaukee, two of the people briefed on his logistics said,” reported the Times. “The change avoids a perceived slight to the largest city in Wisconsin, a vital battleground state.”

When Trump spoke in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Tuesday in Racine — which sits on Lake Michigan between the two cities — referring to the party’s decision to hold the convention there, he said: “I love Milwaukee. I was the one that picked Milwaukee I have to tell you.”

“These lying people that they say ‘oh he doesn’t like Milwaukee’ – I love Milwaukee,” Trump reiterated.

“I said you got to fix the crime,” he added. “You’ve got to make sure the elections are honest, but I’m the one that picked Milwaukee.”

While the campaign likely hoped that this would draw a line under the unforced error, even that statement received pushback.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson told CNN’s Abby Phillip on Tuesday night that the claim was false, and it was the RNC, not Trump, who chose the city as the site of the convention.

“I’m a Democrat and the mayor of the largest city in the state and we’re proud to host the Republican National Convention. We worked really, really hard to get the convention though. Folks in the RNC have been great,” said Johnson.

“Right before I was initially elected mayor, I took time off the campaign trail to go to Washington, DC to go to the RNC headquarters to do the final pitch … it was the RNC that selected Milwaukee. I think I would I would remember if Donald Trump had anything to do with that he was nowhere to be found. That is a complete fabrication. I am stunned by that.

Asked about the reports that Trump had planned to stay in Chicago, Johnson said: “You would imagine that the nominee would stay in the city especially, as he claims it … that he chose Milwaukee.”

He continued: “But if he thinks that Milwaukee is a horrible place, okay, that’s one thing. And he was going to stay in Chicago. But what about even … the counties around Milwaukee, the reddest parts of the state that produce the most Republican votes, he wasn’t even willing to stay in those places, opting instead to go across the state line, go and stay in Chicago, and then come up to receive the nomination like that. That just goes to show you that he doesn’t care about Milwaukee, much less the entire state of Wisconsin.”


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