Did Donald Trump call Milwaukee a “horrible city?”

MILWAUKEE – Former President Donald Trump did accused of having stated “Milwaukee, where we have our convention, is a terrible city” during a meeting of House Republicans on Thursday. There is no recording of the comments, which is causing an uproar as to whether it is true or not.

U.S. Congressman Bryan Steil of Wisconsin’s First Congressional District was in the room when the comments were reportedly made, but told Wisconsin’s Afternoon News that he does not remember making the statement.

“I wasn’t recording. I didn’t take notes. I don’t believe he said that,” Congressman Steil said. “The broader context we’re talking about here is that the president never discouraged the city of Milwaukee and spoke about specific challenges we face in our nation’s largest cities.”

The Janesville resident told WTMJ’s John Mercure and Julia Fello that the context of the alleged comments is not provided. He claims the alleged comments may have been part of a broader conversation about current issues facing the city of Milwaukee.

Congressman Steil could neither fully confirm nor deny the former president’s verbiage — only that he does not believe Trump was “disparaging” the city. He was asked three times.

In addition to claims that Democrats and unspecified media outlets are creating a false narrative out of this situation, Congressman Steil encouraged the people of Wisconsin to attend Donald Trump’s upcoming rally in Racine to hear him speak. He remained steadfast in his belief that the context of these alleged comments was part of a nuanced conversation about issues facing Milwaukee and other major cities.

“The broader conversation that’s out there: He didn’t belittle the city. We talked about the challenges in the city of Milwaukee, ranging from challenges with the elections, where the elections administrator recently had to be removed, to crime,” Representative Steil explained. “Milwaukee Public Schools can’t even provide their financial reports.”

You can listen to the conversation in its entirety here in your browser, on the Wisconsin’s Afternoon News podcast page at, or on the podcast platform of your choice.


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