Joe and Jill Biden met with Jacob Blake’s family members as soon as they were on the ground in Wisconsin, holding the meeting at a building at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport.
Before it began, Biden was caught shaking hands with aide Brian McPartlin as he got off the private plane, which has been a no-no in the coronavirus era.
Reporters were kept outside the hour-long meeting, but the campaign said the Democratic nominee and his wife met with Jacob Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., his sisters Letetra Widman and Zietha Blake, his brother Myron Jackson, and lawyers Patrick Salvi Sr. and B’Ivory LaMarr.
The shooting victim’s mother Julia Jackson and attorney Ben Crump, joined the meeting by phone, according to the Biden campaign.
The Bidens will then head to Kenosha, Wisconsin where they’re slated to hold a ‘healing’ town hall.
Biden’s Wisconsin visit comes two days after President Donald Trump visited Kenosha to tour wreckage from the riots that broke out in the aftermath of the police shooting of Blake.
Trump also reinforced his commitment to siding with law enforcement during the trip, calling rioters ‘domestic terrorists,’ and white officers who kill or shoot black Americans ‘bad apples’ or individuals who’ve ‘choked.’
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is captured leaving a meeting with Jacob Blake’s family at a Milwaukee airport building on Thursday. Press was kept out of the meeting, but the campaign said Blake’s father, two sisters, brother and two lawyers joined Biden and his wife, Jill
Democratic nominee Joe Biden met with Jacob Blake’s family as soon as he landed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thursday. He’ll then travel to Kenosha, where Blake was shot and wounded by police, to meet with community members
OOPS: Joe Biden slipped up and gave his aide Brian McPartlin a handshake as he disembarked from the private plane he and Jill Biden (left) took from Delaware to Milwauke, Wisconsin, where he’s meeting with Jacob Blake’s family at an airport building
Jill (left) and Joe Biden (right) met with family members of Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wisconsin man who was shot by police, as soon as they landed in Wisconsin on Thursday
Joe Biden waves to reporters as he arrives at the New Castle, Delaware airport en route to Kenosha, Wisconsin where he plans to meet with Jacob Blake’s family members and take part in a community event
Joe Biden (left) is accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden (right), as they board their flight to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday. The Bidens’ trip to the Wisconsin city comes two days after President Donald Trump traveled there
Joe Biden has said he intends to try to ‘heal’ the community and bring people together during his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which has seen protests and violent outbursts in the aftermath of last month’s police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who remains hospitalized
Joe Biden is expected to meet with Jacob Blake’s family members during his trip to Kenosha Thursday. Jacob Blake Sr. (left), Blake’s father, and Zanetia Blake, Blake’s sister (right), are photographed in Kenosha on Saturday
President Donald Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday after Democratic leaders told him not to come. He toured wreckage from the riots that broke out after Blake’s shooting and held a roundtable event with law enforcement and other community leaders
Trump did not meet with members of Blake’s family, nor did he say Blake’s name during his remarks.
On the ground in Kenosha, the president dismissed the idea that most of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that occurred after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd – and more recently the shooting of Blake – have been peaceful.
‘I keep hearing about peaceful protests … and then I come to an area like this and the town is burned down,’ Trump said. ‘By and large this is not peaceful protesting,’ he repeated later.
State and local officials, including Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Kenosha’s Mayor John Antaramian, also a Democrat, said they didn’t want Trump to come, but the president insisted.
Biden was asked Wednesday during a Q&A with reporters what made his trip to the area any different.
‘I have spoken to all the leaders up there,’ the former vice president said, adding that he had been working with Evers’ staff, but had yet to speak one-on-on with the state’s governor. ‘There have been overwhelming requests that I do come.’
‘We’ve got to heal, we’ve got to put things together, bring people together and so my purpose in going will be to do just that,’ Biden continued. ‘Be a positive influence on what’s going on, talk about what needs to be done and try to see if there’s a beginning of a mechanism to bring folks together.’
He said he had received advice from House and Senate members, who he said encouraged him to make the trek.
‘And I’m not going to do anything other than meetings with community leaders as well as business people and other folks in law enforcement and start to talk about what has been done,’ Biden said.
The campaign has not publicly confirmed that he’s meeting with the Blake family.
‘I’m not going to tell Kenosha what they have to do,’ Biden also said.
Biden’s trip to Wisconsin marks the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has gone to the state since the 2012 cycle.
Hillary Clinton notably skipped campaigning in Wisconsin, only to lose the state to Trump, helping him earn his Electoral College victory in 2016.
The Democratic National Convention was supposed to take place in the state – and while some delegates did gather in Milwaukee – Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris gave their nomination speeches from Wilmington, Delaware instead, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Trump and the Republicans have gone after Biden for his reluctance to travel.
On Wednesday, as the president was heading to North Carolina – another key swing state – he started referring to Biden as ‘Joe Hiden,” as the ex-veep spent most of the early months of the pandemic campaigning from his Wilmington basement.
This week Biden took on a more robust campaign schedule, traveling to Pittsburgh Monday to deliver a speech.
The campaign called an early ‘lid’ Tuesday – meaning the candidate would not be leaving his residence, which again garnered criticism from Republicans.
On Wednesday, Biden delivered remarks on reopening schools and then took questions from reporters, the first time he devoted real time to a press Q&A in weeks.
On Friday, Biden will deliver remarks on the economy to reporters back in Wilmington.