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Griffin eagerly echoes Trump’s Chicago rhetoric while criticising Trump’s divisiveness

Tuesday, Oct 5, 2021

* 2017

President Trump said on Friday night that Chicago has “weak, ineffective political Democrats” that won’t force gun restrictions, which leads to their crime rate, comparing it to the violence in Afghanistan.

* 2019

“It’s embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world, they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison, it’s true,” said Trump.

* 2020

“When you have 88 shootings, that’s not even conceivable, that’s worse than Afghanistan, I hate to say it. That’s worse than any war zone that we’re in by a lot,” Trump said.

* Yesterday

Billionaire Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, hinted Monday that he might move his company’s headquarters from Chicago, saying the crime makes the city more akin to a war-torn country.

“It’s becoming ever more difficult to have this as our global headquarters, a city which has so much violence,” Griffin said. “I mean Chicago is like Afghanistan, on a good day, and that’s a problem.”

* Also Ken Griffin yesterday

“I think it’s time for America to move on,” Griffin said. “The four years under President Donald Trump were so pointlessly divisive, it was not constructive for our country.”

We’ll get to more of Griffin’s trolling later today.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

52 Comments
  1. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:39 am:

    “I mean Chicago is like Afghanistan, on a good day, and that’s a problem.”

    You can tell what media he’s inhaling.
    How many people work directly for Citadel in Chicago? How much commercial space to they lease? How much does the entity and its employees pay in state taxes? I’m trying to figure out how much to care where they sit while they’re taking their skim off the global economy.


  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    I was watching him speak yesterday.

    When he was talking about Exelon, he looked into the crowd and said “everyone would without hesitation be happy to pay higher taxes if it meant an end to corruption”.

    His method of speaking was interesting.


  3. - St Joe - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    Per Sun Times, Chicago has 775 homicides in 2020.

    In 2021, Chicago has had 624 homicides.

    It’s possible that 2021 eclipses 2020. MLL and all public officials need to step up and fix this problem.


  4. - Montrose - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:42 am:

    If anything helps combat violence, its hyperbole. /s


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:42 am:

    Let’s be crystal clear here to Griffin;

    I was reminded one very important thought to Griffin and his ridiculous and silly rhetoric… Griffin is not a politician.

    Griffin can act like your unhinged in-law uncle because Griffin is a coward and won’t face the voters with his hateful thoughts toward Illinois.

    So many thoughts to Griffin and his cowardly takes but I can wait to delve deeper.

    It’s creepy how Griffin tries to troll and complain and connect to the lowest common folks and tap into anger as a billionaire as Griffin does so little to making society better. That’s the real lesson.

    Griffin will hide behind his money and find a patsy to back to repeat these things… the thin-skinned Griffin will lob divisive rhetoric because he’s still a billionaire that won’t stand behind his words in the end.


  6. - ItsMillerTime - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:43 am:

    It’s amazing how I can hear immensely wealthy people like Griffin and Trump talk and all I can think about what losers they seem to be. By most metrics they are not but they give off this insecure energy about them.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    === It’s possible that 2021 eclipses 2020. MLL and all public officials need to step up and fix this problem.===

    This part *is* true. I can agree to that.

    Now, tell me the solutions you’d like to see…. See, even Griffin wants the underpinnings of race and “Democrat” but can’t quite find where a solution exists.


  8. - Lynn S. - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    Did I miss the announcement that Ken Griffin will be spending significant, quality time in the neighborhoods that are the sites of so much of this violence? Asking for a friend…

    If Mr. Griffin donated 1% of his personal income to violence prevention organizations in those neighborhoods, how much would violence decrease, and those neighborhoods improve? I’ll take my answers off the air.

    Heck, if Grif went through and bought up, then demolished, all the abandoned houses in those neighborhoods, how much would things improve? I’d be willing to support the tax deduction when he gave the cleared-out, cleaned-up lots to Habitat for Humanity.


  9. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:47 am:

    Murder is up in many places in the US. big problem.


  10. - Sayitaintso - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:48 am:

    Over 20 years in Afganistan, 2,400 American troops were killed. How many have been killed in Chicago in the last 20 years? OK, better yet, lets just count the number of murders in Chicago this year alone: 524 - according to the Chicago Police Dept.. Yes, “Trump rhetoric” , of course, part of the problem.


  11. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    If Mr. Griffin packs up and leaves the state behind, who is hurt worse, Illinois or the Illinois GOP? I think some GOP candidates just got a little heartburn.


  12. - Bring Donuts - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:50 am:

    “Griffin can act like your unhinged in-law uncle because Griffin is a coward and won’t face the voters with his hateful thoughts toward Illinois.”
    There are other ways to express your 1st Amendment rights than running for office. And it’s not like he made his comments anonymously.


  13. - Blake - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    Violent crime is up everywhere & it is a big deal, even if he may not be the best messenger, focusing it on one city. I do worry about a backlash to criminal justice reform.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    ===There are other ways to express your 1st Amendment rights than running for office.===

    The difference between Griffin’s creepy comments and the angry in-law uncle is Griffin isn’t drinking bad beer, he owns the brewery, and isn’t complaining about the dog your aunt got, Griffin would like to own the puppy mill.

    If you support the racist thinking underpinnings as first amendment “ok”… welp…


  15. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    Griffin starved state government and resources like violence prevention programs for two years, in partnership with Rauner and other right wing allies. The dude further hurt this state by opposing the Fair Tax, which would have freed up lots of money to help lower income communities. Dude needs to sit down and be quiet.


  16. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:56 am:

    He said “Afghanistan” so the media would report “Afghanistan” so the social media algorithms would cycle mainstream coverage of “Afghanistan” to the fragile figures who fear their world is being destroyed by someone and the destruction of civil society continues, each pawn playing its sacrificial part.
    Happy Tuesday.


  17. - Birds on the Bat - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    It’s amazing how I can hear immensely wealthy people like Griffin and Trump talk and all I can think about what losers they seem to be

    JB says hello.


  18. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    Griffin’s rhetoric aside, the perception right now is that Chicago has a serious crime problem and while Kim Foxx does deserve some criticism, so does CPD, the Cook County court system, and a multitude of other parties.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    === JB says hello.===

    That only works… if you believe Trump is a loser.

    You’re not good at this.


  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    ===Over 20 years in Afganistan, 2,400 American troops were killed===

    And how many Afghans? Your method would only be valid if you compared the number of law enforcement officers killed in Chicago during the same time period on a per capita basis. Otherwise, it’s a ridiculously stupid troll.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    ===the perception right now===

    Instead of caving to “perception,” try addressing the actual issues.


  22. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:06 am:

    -the perception right now is that Chicago has a serious crime problem and while Kim Foxx does deserve some criticism, so does CPD, the Cook County court system, and a multitude of other parties.-

    It’s hard to deny that, but at the same time Mr. Griffin’s party has long suggested that big government is not the answer. Well, flooding the area with more cops or troops, and locking more people up is also big government. So, what’s his solution and what is he doing as a prominent and wealthy critic to help?


  23. - Jocko - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Chicago is like Afghanistan, on a good day==

    Aren’t you the same Ken Griffin that dropped over $50 million to defeat the fair tax?


  24. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    Just wondering: Has Griffin ever been to Afghanistan?

    Otherwise it’s kinda like a man saying something is as painful as childbirth.


  25. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    ==How many have been killed in Chicago in the last 20 years?==

    The number of American troops killed in Chicago in the last 20 years has to be pretty close to zero.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    Griffin’s Chicago - “Afghanistan”

    Perception, Chicago - Best Big City in the U.S. for an unprecedented 5th year straight in the 2021 @cntraveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

    Both can and *ARE* true…

    True that Chicago has serious crime issues that need addressing with tough questions and answers not easily found…

    … and Chicago is a world class city people want to visit and see as a place to go.

    Griffin’s own bad mouthing without looking at it with solutions is to gin up angst and anger with race and politics as the underpinning, sometimes very overt “underpinning”

    I’ve yet to read anyone here or anywhere that thinks crime in Chicago is at levels not needing scrutiny. The heavy lift is trying to find the solutions.


  27. - blue line - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    did i use banned punctuation? not sure why my earlier comment was excluded from the discussion.


  28. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    Where many might find agreement is that violent criminals often get out of jail too easily, only to commit more crimes, whereas too many non-violent drug offenders are incarcerated. Shouldn’t we look to locking up the non-violent less and the violent more? Shouldn’t we look at more humane and cost-effective ways of improving our criminal justice system?


  29. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    Wait, are you telling me that Ken Griffin’s $125,000,000 donation to the Museum of Science and Industry did nothing to improve the safety in Chicago? All he got out of it was his name on the place?


  30. - dd - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:42 am:

    Citadel ain’t moving anywhere. Too much competition in the race to execute external orders. Here it’s got a sweet fiefdom.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    ===All he got out of it was his name on the place?===

    The “What’s In It For Me” kinda guy.

    Paying for monuments that outlive their real legacy?


  32. - DarkDante - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    Afghanistan on the Prairie - the Conde Nast Best City for 5 Years straight. Get outta here, Ken.


  33. - Jabes - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:54 am:

    Maybe this explains the over the top security measures it takes to get into and out of the building where his headquarters are housed. I mean, you have to swipe your badge on the way OUT to get the revolving door moving, because each door stops in the “locked” position so that no one can get even partway into the revolving door to try to push their way in. It’s quite a production.


  34. - Rutger Hauer - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    I listened to the entire speech. Griffin is a flat out smart guy - which apparently scares a lot of folks. You may disagree with him, but there is no question that Chicago is currently on a miserable path. Illinois under Pritzker appears to be turning it around but we’re still a decade away before people with means (investors) view the State as a longer a basket case. I know - because I represent folks who make investment decisions and it’s rare to hear a positive word, as much as I try convince them that Illinois has a lot of good things going for it - ie… logistics, universities, smart kids. Decades to get into this mess, decades to get out.


  35. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    ===Griffin is a flat out smart guy===

    Clearly on some things. Clearly not on anything that has nothing to do with making money.


  36. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    “Chicago is on a miserable path”

    Uh, didn’t their population increase?


  37. - dd - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:02 am:

    It’s a production because of the incredibly valuable algos it runs for it’s high speed trading. A decade ago a couple of ex-employees went to the slammer for theft.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    Hmm…

    === we’re still a decade away before people with means (investors) view the State as a longer a basket case. I know - because I represent folks who make investment decisions and it’s rare to hear a positive word, as much as I try convince them that Illinois has a lot of good things going for it===

    … and yet….

    ===CHICAGO, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that for the eighth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine ranked Chicago “Top Metro” in the United States for corporate investment. In 2020, the Chicago metro once again saw more new and expanding corporate locations than any other metro area in the country.===

    You try using this at any time?


  39. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    - Griffin is a flat out smart guy -

    Yeah, he pitched the idea of painting the speed bumps white to Rahm after he ramped his car over one. All around genius.


  40. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    ==Griffin is a flat out smart guy - which apparently scares a lot of folks. ==

    Ya’ll really gotta get over the idea that anytime someone voices their disagreement with someone it’s bc they’re scared of ‘em.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    So… no one is coming to Chicago because of crime, yet Chicago is ranked the best big city to visit… Chicago is bad for business because of crime, yet Chicagoland leads the country in business investment and growth…

    … what’s next, we gonna discuss how “everyone” is leaving Chicago by the “tens of thousands”…

    … or are we all gonna discuss that crime is a very serious issue in Chicago that needs real answers and no one is ignoring that it’s serious AND things need to change to make things better?

    Griffin is not a serious person to the discussion because Griffin’s own agenda and thoughts to things are based on tripe to gin up anger, angst, and division.


  42. - dd - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:10 am:

    Anon was me. His “smarts” was hiring genius programmers who wasted their talents for cash.


  43. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    ==If Mr. Griffin packs up and leaves the state behind, who is hurt worse, Illinois or the Illinois GOP?==

    Political contributions know no boundaries.


  44. - Jocko - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    ==Griffin is a flat out smart guy==

    So was Henry Gondorff in The Sting. The only difference them that Ken Griffin is ‘past posting’ the stock market by nanoseconds.


  45. - Jockey - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:22 am:

    @O.W. At yesterday’s CPD budget hearing, while speaking to Supt. Brown, downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly was concerned about crime, particularly downtown crime, stating , “tourists will not be visiting and help to pay our bills.” Ald. O’Shea felt Chicago is the most dangerous city in America.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    === Ald. Brendan Reilly was concerned about crime===

    When you find someone who isn’t concerned about crime, lemme know, and further, I don’t see a single place where I dismissed crime, or see it as anything less than serious, do you?

    ===Ald. O’Shea felt===

    You’re going with “felt”? Oh, the alderperson is going with “felt”

    Again, I don’t think I dismissed crime as serious, and I can’t help if feelings and thoughts are deemed factually accurate to others’… thoughts… outside the Chicago bubble of self loathing.

    With respect


  47. - levivotedforjudy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:26 am:

    SO the Governor of Illinois is in charge of law enforcement in Chicago? Griffin needs to attend a Mikva Challenge event and learn a little bit about civics.


  48. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    -Political contributions know no boundaries.-

    Yes but interest wanes and shifts to the politics of the new state.


  49. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    “It’s a wide and varied city, but no matter where you go, one thing is constant: here, you’ll meet some of the most pleasant people you’ll find anywhere.”

    That’s from Conde Nast Traveler which calls Chicago one of the best places to visit 2021.


  50. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    From AP News: American service members killed in Afghanistan through April: 2,448, U.S. contractors: 3,846.
    Afghan national military and police: 66,000, Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states: 1,144, Afghan civilians: 47,245, Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191, Aid workers: 444, Journalists: 72. So 112,990 divided by 20 years is 5650 people a year. Chicago’s worst homicide year was 1974 under Richard J. Daley at 970.
    Even one homicide of an innocent person is bad. But what purpose does it serve to say Chicago is the same as Afghanistan? It isn’t.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-history-of-chicago-homicides-htmlstory.html

    https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-business-afghanistan-43d8f53b35e80ec18c130cd683e1a38f


  51. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:14 pm:

    There’s smart, and then there’s well-informed judgment.


  52. - Well-read guy - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    Conte Nast travel poll, a high-end and highly regarded travel magazine, has ranked Chicago 5 years in a row as 1st (top) among the best U.S. cities, ahead of NYC, NOLA, Boston, San Francisco, Hololulu, etc.


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