White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday questioned the competence of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) after he made a plea for state and federal action on gun control in the wake of this week’s shooting of six police officers in his city.
“What Philly sorely needs is a competent mayor who sufficiently respects and resources our brave men and women of law enforcement,” Conway wrote on Twitter.
She attached a television clip of Kenney from Wednesday night reacting to a standoff with a gunman in a North Philadelphia neighborhood that dragged on for hours and resulted in no fatalities.
“Our officers need help,” Kenney told reporters in the clip. “They need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands. . . . This government, from the federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”
Kenney assumed office in 2016 after serving on the Philadelphia City Council for 23 years.
President Trump also weighed in on the standoff Thursday, writing in a morning tweet that the “Philadelphia shooter should never have been allowed to be on the streets.”
“He had a long and very dangerous criminal record,” Trump said. “Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!”
In the wake of mass shootings this month in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Trump has called for strengthening background checks for gun buyers and advocated for “red-flag laws” that make it easier for authorities to confiscate weapons from those deemed to be a danger to themselves and others.
Trump threatened to veto two bills passed by the Democratic-led House earlier this year that aimed to strengthen background checks, saying they did not adequately protect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.
In recent days, he has pledged to bring Republican lawmakers on board for “very strong” background-check legislation.