Atlanta mayor: Trump's talk is energizing crimes against minorities

The Axe Files, featuring David Axelrod, is a podcast distributed by CNN and produced at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. The author works for the podcast.

(CNN)President Donald Trump's divisive language has contributed to the recent instances of crimes targeting minority communities in America, says Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

"I think that our President has unleashed an energy that is not healthy for the fabric of the country," Reed told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
Reed's comments came a day before the President's address to Congress last week, in which Trump denounced the recent murder of an Indian man in Kansas as well as the increase in vandalism targeting Jewish community centers and cemeteries across the country.
Trump in the address also called upon lawmakers to pass legislation to fund school choice for disadvantaged youth and also mentioned the need for better schools, jobs, wages, and law enforcement during a White House event to mark Black History Month.
    "We're going to work very hard on the inner city," Trump said at the event.
    But since his election, Trump has also issued a series of broadsides against America's big cities, characterizing Chicago neighborhoods suffering from gun violence as being akin to a "war zone" and denigrating Atlanta as "crime infested" and "falling apart." The latter remark came after Rep. John Lewis, whose congressional district includes a large portion of the city, boycotted Trump's inauguration and said he didn't view Trump as a legitimate president.
    In the podcast, Reed accused Trump of stoking resentment among different groups for his own political gain.
    "Mr. Trump continues to take shots at cities to encourage his base, which is non-city centric," Reed said. "It's just beyond dog whistle politics. It's a way to say, you know, folks in cities are 'they.'"
    But the President believes if he can put enough people back to work and continue to strengthen the economy, then his past offenses will be forgiven by the time he runs for re-election, Reed said.
    "I think that (Trump) thinks that the silver bullet to that is to push a trillion dollars in real (infrastructure) programming," Reed said, adding that the Trump administration is already "directly engaged" in identifying construction projects that would have a large economic impact.
    The infrastructure investment could be funded through a repatriation of corporate taxes that would be a part of comprehensive tax reform legislation, Reed said. That, coupled with a reduced corporate tax rate, could potentially create a favorable climate for an influx of American jobs.
    "I think that the bet that he's making is, is that if he is the king of jobs, then nothing else he does matters," Reed said.
    To hear the whole conversation with Reed, click on http://podcast.cnn.com. To get "The Axe Files" podcast every week, subscribe at http://itunes.com/theaxefiles.