Philly FOP leader meets with Trump, Pence, Sessions

President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 John McNesby, pictured second from left, was among FOP leaders who met with President Trump in the White House Tuesday.

About a month after FOP Lodge 5 president John McNesby said President Trump says great things about police "but when he sits at the table, it's a whole different story," McNesby himself sat at a table with Trump, Vice President Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the White House on Tuesday.

"I think that's why I was summoned to the White House, to be honest with you," McNesby said, when asked about his previous quote. "Maybe the message got through."

McNesby said he received a confidential invitation from the White House last week to attend a meeting with Trump, Pence, Sessions, and a small group of FOP leaders that included the president of the Chicago lodge, the president of the national lodge, and several national board members.

"He wanted to hear from large cities, particularly, regarding gun violence, the opioid epidemic, and sanctuary cities," McNesby said.

In a picture Trump posted to Twitter of himself with the FOP leaders in the Oval Office, he called the meeting a "listening session."

Camera icon @VP / via Twitter
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby shakes the hand of Vice President Pence during a meeting at the White House with FOP leaders Tuesday.

McNesby said the group discussed issues facing police -- including dwindling staffing levels -- but there were no real concrete solutions offered or promises made. 

McNesby said he and others expressed concerns that if the federal government cuts funding to sanctuary cities like Philadelphia and Chicago, it could adversely affect funding to the police departments in those municipalities.

"He seemed like he was also concerned and he said they were going to work through that to make sure police would get everything they needed to do their job," McNesby said.

When it comes to sanctuary cities, the FOP leaders stressed to Trump that their officers must follow the laws -- and leaders -- in the cities in which they serve, according to McNesby.

"He said he understood we have to follow orders and that's what we do," McNesby said. "Until they work that out, we're kind of in limbo."

McNesby said he hasn't fielded any sanctuary-city conflict concerns from Philly cops yet, "but it's only a matter of time."

The meeting, which lasted an hour or so, was "very fruitful," McNesby said.

"We were able to voice what we needed to voice and I don't think it fell on deaf ears," he said. "I just hope a lot of this stuff is resolved."

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