DALLAS - President Trump discussed race relations and law enforcement policies at a roundtable event in Dallas on Thursday.
He offered some ideas on improving police relations and racial disparities, but we have yet to see the specifics on how some of those plans will play out.
Trump made it clear again he does not support the idea of taking money and resources away from police. He spoke ahead of a high-dollar fundraiser at a North Dallas home scheduled for Thursday evening.
Several of the roundtable panelists at Gateway Church in North Dallas, including Dallas business owners and church leaders, instead focused on police training, economic resources and social outreach.
Senior White House officials said it would be a historic event aimed at unveiling policy solutions to deal with health and financial disparities and modernizing police. What the President ultimately announced was a four-step plan.
It includes increasing access to capital for minority owned small businesses and an executive order, not yet finalized, that the president says would encourage police departments to meet professional standards.
“In recent days, there's been vigorous discussion about how to ensure fairness, justice and equality for all of our people,” Trump said.
There's also been growing efforts recently to defund police departments in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with some pushing to reallocate money to other social services and programs.
Trump said he will not defund the police and instead increase funding for police training and resources.
“If somebody is really bad you're going to have to do it with real strength, real power, and I said, people said, 'I don't know if we like that expression.' I said you have to dominate the streets,” Trump said.
Trump’s Attorney General also made the trip with him to Dallas.
“While we saw something very bad, it has perhaps helped galvanize the will of the country to bring good out of that,” AG William Barr said.
He also said they want to increase grants for police departments to use co-responders. That would be people with specialties responding to homelessness, mental health and drug addiction.
Several of Dallas' notable black leaders - police chief, sheriff, distict attorney - were not invited to participate in the roundtable.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson did get an invite, but declined due to a prior commitment.
Trump headed to a private fundraiser at a North Dallas home after the roundtable, where he was expected to raise as much as $10 million for his reelection efforts.
Trump’s visit to Dallas also comes as a recent poll shows reliably red Texas could be in play in November. A Quinnipiac poll found Trump was up just one point on Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Biden blasted the visit.
"The country, and Texas, are facing multiple crises — yet President Trump continues to demonstrate that he’s not the right leader to address any of them," Biden said in a statement about Trump's visit. “President Trump is more interested in photo-ops than offering a healing voice as our nation mourns."
The President did call Floyd’s death a disgrace, and said there are bad apples among law enforcement.
“You always have a bad apple no matter where you go. You have bad apples and there are not too many of them, and I can tell you there are not too many of them in the police department,” he said.