(WKOW) — President Donald Trump Monday brushed off the notion that his visit to Kenosha Tuesday will increase violence in a city trying to heal.
"It could also increase enthusiasm," he said. "And it could increase love and respect for our country and that's why I'm going."
The president says he views Kenosha as a success, claiming the activation of the National Guard was at his urging, and that "the problem ended."
He also gave a reason why he hasn't spoken to the family of Jacob Blake.
"I may at some point do that, but they did have a lawyer that wanted to be on the phone and I said, 'No, that's inappropriate,'" Trump said. "But I gave my best regards. Again, I spoke with the pastor."
Jacob Blake Sr. told CNN Monday night that the family doesn't have a pastor.
"I don't know who he talked to. Furthermore, I don't care who he talked to," Blake Sr. said. "This is not politics. This is about the life of my son."
The White House later clarified Trump spoke to the pastor of Jacob Blake's mother.
The Blake Family attorney, Ben Crump, released a statement as well:
“President Trump reached out to the pastor of Jacob Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, to arrange a phone conversation with her. He appropriately referred the White House to the legal team, but, as President Trump acknowledged during his televised briefing, he declined to have a call if Ms. Jackson’s legal team monitored the call. The family’s primary objectives are to support Jacob’s recovery and to ensure justice for him. If the call had occurred, Ms. Jackson was prepared to ask President Trump to watch the video of Mr. Blake’s shooting and to do what she has asked all of America to do -- examine your heart.”Ben Crump, Blake Family Attorney
Sunday, Governor Evers (D-WI) wrote a letter to the president asking him to reconsider his visit. Kenosha's mayor echoed that call Monday.
"I am disappointed that he is coming," said Mayor John Antaramian. "Our community has gone through a great deal, and there is no time right now for political politics to be played."
Others in the state are welcoming the president and hoping his visit will be positive for rebuilding.
"When he comes, it's all going to be dependent on what he says and how he reacts to the situation," Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) said. "And hopefully, he'll do so in a compassionate way that brings people together."
Seven of the 23 Kenosha County supervisors wrote a letter to the White House welcoming President Trump.
The county executive was more ominous.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, a reporter asked him if he was concerned that the president's visit will inflame tensions or lead to violence.
"We'll find out tomorrow, won't we," said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser.
President Trump was also asked Monday to condemn the actions of the Illinois teen accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, but the president didn't -- saying that Kyle Rittenhouse was overrun.
"He was trying to get away from them I guess it looks like, and then he fell, and they very violently attacked him," the president said. "He probably would have been killed."
Rittenhouse faces five felony counts, including two for homicide. His attorneys say he was acting in self defense.
Jacob Blake was shot several times in the back by Kenosha Police on Aug. 23, sparking protests across the state and the country.