In a letter circulated to agents, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) acting head Chuck Rosenberg blasted President Trump’s recent comments supporting excessive force by police.
“The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement. I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong,” he wrote. “That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do.”
Rosenberg was referring to Trump’s speech Friday in which he told a crowd of police officers to be “rough” as they tossed arrestees into “paddy wagons.”
“Please do not be too nice,” he added.
In response to the speech, Rosenberg reminded his agents that the DEA still holds onto “core values,” including “rule of law,” “accountability,” and “integrity.”
Asked about the DEA chief’s letter, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that Trump’s comment was merely a “joke.”
“I believe he was making a joke at the time,” Sanders stated, adding that what Trump said “wasn’t a directive. It was a joke. There’s a very big difference.”
Nonetheless, Rosenberg’s letter has gone viral. Left-wing outlets and anti-Trump publications continue to circulate the DEA chief’s letter as gospel.
Is this a case of much ado about nothing, like Sanders suggests, or did Trump cross the line in suggesting that cops should rough-up suspects? Watch Trump’s speech and decide for yourself:
Trump encourages police to rough up suspects. Police aplaud and cheer https://t.co/CW65LTxUL6
— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) July 29, 2017