Following the mass shooting in Dallas and killing of five law enforcement officers, Donald Trump's campaign reached out to the New York Police Department on Friday morning and asked whether he could address police officers at the Midtown North Precinct during 3 p.m. roll call, according to the New York Daily News.
The campaign was firmly turned down — and Bill Bratton, the police commissioner, explained why during a news conference in New York.
"Our interest is staying out of the politics of the moment, not to provide photo ops," Bratton said in response to a question from a reporter. "If Mr. Trump wants to speak to me, I would be happy to brief him on what we’re doing. If Sen. Clinton wants to speak to me, I would be very happy to brief her on what we’re doing. But we are not in the business of providing photo ops for our candidates.”
Bratton said that Clinton had requested a briefing and that "there may have been a request made to attend a roll call" from Trump's campaign.
Immediately following the news conference, Trump's campaign spokeswoman pushed back against Bratton's comments, insisting that the campaign had never made such a request.
"Mr. Trump and the campaign did not reach out with a request to address a roll call," spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.
Soon after, the New York Daily News updated its article about Bratton's comments with more details, reporting that Trump's head of security Keith Schiller — a former NYPD detective — made the request to the police commissioner, according to an unnamed police source.
When asked whether Schiller had made the request, Hicks wrote in an email, "I stand by my earlier comment that Mr. Trump and the campaign did not reach out."
This is not the first time that Trump, a longtime Manhattan resident, has clashed with Bratton and members of the administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). Trump has called de Blasio the "single worst mayor in the history of New York City," and the mayor has in turn accused Trump of using racism as "a strategic tool."
Last month, Bratton came to President Obama's defense when Trump implied that the president is sympathetic to terrorists.
“Actions speak louder than words,” Bratton said during a news conference June 14. Obama has "been doing one hell of a job, I think, basically trying to kill those bastards before they kill us. So, let's see what Mr. Trump does in terms of matching actions to rhetoric.”
And Bratton has been critical of Trump's call for a ban on allowing foreign Muslims into the country.
“It works against the ability of police in this country to develop relationships with the communities,” Bratton said at the same news conference. “The idea of somehow singling out a community for penalties that don’t apply to other communities, or seem to single them out, I think is unnecessary, it is unfortunate, and it works against our ability to work with those communities.”
Following the Thursday night shooting, Trump canceled a policy speech he had planned to give Friday afternoon in Miami — and he stayed uncharacteristically quiet throughout the day. Trump faced criticism last month for his response to the mass shooting in Orlando, spreading inaccurate or unsubstantiated information and tweeting that he was being congratulated for being "right on radical Islamic terrorism."
As of Friday evening, Trump had not done any televised interviews and sent only a handful of tweets, including one linking to a statement and another that criticized Clinton for appearing on CNN: "Isn't it sad that on a day of national tragedy Hillary Clinton is answering softball questions about her email lies on @CNN?"