New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows this week to discuss the tragic events of the past week, which included the killings of black citizens Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers in Louisiana and Minneapolis respectively, and the fatal ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas. During their interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Bratton about presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s alleged request to address police officers during roll call, a request that the Trump campaign has denied making.
Bratton confirmed to Todd that Trump’s campaign had, indeed, made the request, and that it was not accommodated:
Very specifically, one of his security personnel, former NYPD personnel reached out to the department about the potential for Mr. Trump to address a roll call. We don’t allow the department to be politicized and as much as he’s engaged in the political campaign that would be a politicizing of the department. I had a conversation with Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton later in the day that day at their request, both of them called me to discuss New York specifically as well as the Dallas situation. Very productive conversations. It’s been overplayed in some respects in the media. We don’t allow the department to be used, if you will, as a backdrop for those types of campaigns.
Bratton told reporters on Friday that “we’re not in the business of providing photo-ops for candidates,” and the Trump campaign told Politico that “Mr. Trump and the campaign did not reach out with a request to address a roll call,” or to address officers in any fashion.
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