June 8, 2020

Washington DC's outspoken and fearless mayor, Muriel Bowser, joined Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday to discuss her battle with Donald Trump, twitter feuds, invasion by the National Guard and her brilliant decision to paint 16th Street right in front of the White House with 50 foot high yellow letters (Black Lives Matter), while renaming the plaza in front of the White House as "Black Lives Matter Plaza".

To summarize - she is not backing down. She will not be silenced. She is not afraid of Donald Trump.

Here is bit of their exchange:

WALLACE: You have been in a week long battle with President Trump. After this weekend -- this past weekend, when protestors surrounded the White House, you tweeted this -- I'm going to put it up, "just a scared man. Afraid/alone." And the president in the last couple of days has tweeted back at you, "grossly incompetent".

Question Mayor, why is it useful -- why is it constructive to get in a fight with the President of the United States?

BOWSER: We're not engaged in a fight but we are engaged in a defense of our city. You know, Chris, that Washington, D.C., we are the Nation's Capitol, we are -- we function as a city, county, and state. I act as the county executive, the mayor, and the governor for 700,000 tax paying Americans. And what we saw last week was basically an invasion of our city. Active duty Army troops moved from all points around the country to threaten our autonomy. And what you saw -- and I won't have it reduced to a spat, was how I have to defend our tax payers, and it's sad to say, that we would have to defend ourselves against federal forces.

WALLACE: Then on Friday you renamed the area just in front of Lafayette Park. You renamed it Black Lives Matter Plaza and you had this giant sign painted on 16th Street leading to the White House. Mayor, what's the point there?

BOWSER: Well, it's a mural, Chris, and as you know in D.C. we have a program called MuralsDC where we turn all types of expression into beautiful art around our city. And what we have -- what we commissioned was the Black Lives Matter mural and it's become a centering point, a place for healing, strategizing, talking, but also redress, which is a right in America where citizens from all over the country come to their nation's capitol to deliver grievances at the footstep of the people's house.

WALLACE: Interestingly enough, that started another fight, not with the president but with Black Lives Matter DC which said that your mural that you commissioned or approved was a distraction from real policy issues and they're calling you out, saying that you are increasing funding for policing at the same time that you are cutting funding in D.C. for community intervention programs.

BOWSER: Well, Chris, what I know is public safety in Washington, D.C. and what our needs are in Washington, D.C. And we have invested not a penny more and certainly not a penny less than what we need for safe neighborhoods in our communities. In the same budget proposal that I have front of my council now, an unprecedented (ph) revenue decline because of COVID-19, increases more than 3 percent in funding for our D.C. public schools.

What we also see is a very innovative policing program where we hire D.C. residents, send them to college while they're working for the Metropolitan Police Department. And what that does is it makes us have a force that is diverse, it has more women, it has more D.C. residents, and it will help us create a partnership between police and community.

WALLACE: Finally, I've got about a minute left for this Mayor. You're also getting criticized by conservatives for the fact that they claim you evicted 300 -- no, 200 members of the Utah National Guard from their hotel on Friday morning after they had just pulled an all-night shift protecting your city. Did you evict them? Because the fact is they did have to leave their hotel that day.

BOWSER: Well, Chris, I'm sure you're aware I have no ability to evict anybody from a private hotel and, certainly, I think the people of Utah should know this, that their governor and their senators at (ph) the United States Army were responsible for making the accommodations for the Utah National Guard and certainly paying the bills. And we did insist that D.C. residents don't pay the bills for troops that we didn't request. But we are certainly happy that the Guardsmen were comfortable in downtown hotels. And I understand that the Army has worked out all payment arrangements.

If nothing else, the last two weeks have shown, in stark terms, how much Washington DC needs to earn it's statehood. It cannot function as a city under federal control without representation in Congress. Hopefully in the Biden Administration, this can be accomplished.

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