July 19, 2024

CHICAGO (WLS) — Former President Donald Trump’s campaign denied he is planning to stay in Chicago and commute to Milwaukee for the 2024 Republican National Convention in July, as multiple sources told ABC7.

A high-ranking law enforcement source who is not authorized to comment on the decision publicly, but who has knowledge of the decision, told ABC7 Political Reporter Craig Wall that Trump intends to stay in Chicago and commute to Milwaukee for the convention. A second source confirmed those plans.

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A third source told ABC7 the former president is making plans to stay in Chicago during the RNC. Those sources said the city has been preparing for weeks for Trump to stay here and travel to Milwaukee.

But Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, responded to ABC7 saying, “The president is planning to stay in Milwaukee for the Convention.”

“We did have solid indications he was originally planning to stay in Chicago, at least for some period of time,” said 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, who’s also chair of the city’s public safety committee. “Campaigns change schedules all the time. The Trump campaign is like any other; they react to circumstances, they react to the optics, and I think in this case it looked pretty bad to not be staying in Wisconsin, which is a battleground state for him. So, frankly, I’m not surprised they changed their mind not to stay in Trump Tower.”

One high ranking law enforcement source confirmed sweeps had been done at the Trump Tower just last week.

Trump is campaigning in Racine Tuesday afternoon, days after reportedly calling Milwaukee “horrible” behind closed doors.

Trump’s event Tuesday comes less than a month before Republicans gather in Milwaukee for their national convention, where they will nominate the former president for the third time in eight years. At a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill last week, Trump referred to his party’s chosen convention host city as “horrible,” according to a source in the room.

The Trump campaign pushed back on some of the public characterization of the alleged remark, saying he was referring to crime and “voter fraud.” As his alleged comment reverberated around the Badger State, Trump clarified to a Fox News reporter, “I love Milwaukee. I have great friends in Milwaukee” before also criticizing crime there and the city’s stewardship of elections.

The Republican National Committee chose Milwaukee as the RNC host city because Wisconsin as regarded as a state that helped send Trump to the White House in 2016. He then lost the state to President Biden in 2020.

Trump frequently railed against Chicago during his first term in the White House.

And while his campaign now insists the former president will be staying in Milwaukee when he accepts the Republican nomination next month, city officials in Chicago said the campaign’s reversal doesn’t change their planning here.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report

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