Twitter reacts to Trump’s comments on ‘filth’ in San Francisco, other U.S. cities

The social media universe is challenging President Donald Trump’s recent comments on the “filth” in American cities, including some “terrible” things going on in San Francisco.

In a sit-down interview with the president which was broadcast Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson brought up Trump’s recent trip to Japan where no one was “going to the bathroom on the street.”

By comparison, he remarked New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles have “a major problem with filth.”

Trump agreed. “It’s very sad,” he said. “It’s a phenomena that started two years ago. It’s disgraceful.”

Trump went on to say he was looking at the problem “very seriously” and added, “We’re doing some other things that you probably noticed like some of the very important things that we’re doing now. But we’re looking at it very seriously because you can’t do that.”

ALSO: Poop-free sidewalks promised in ‘tacky’ ad from rental condo complex in San Francisco

Trump never uses the word homeless, but he implies the issue is created by people living on the street.

“Although some of them have mental problems where they don’t even know they’re living that way,” he said. “In fact, perhaps they like living that way. They can’t do that. We cannot ruin our cities.”

He pointed a finger at the “liberal establishment” and specifically called out San Francisco.

“San Francisco, I own property in San Francisco, so I don’t care except it was so beautiful,” he said. “And now areas that you used to think as being, you know, really something very special, you take a look at what’s going on with San Francisco, it’s terrible.”

Social media users were quick to question Trump’s timeline for the start of the “filth” on the streets and took his comments to mean homelessness started only two years ago.

“For the record, parts of San Francisco have smelled like urine since I was a kid,” chimed in @deck_the_holly. “This didn’t start 2 years ago.”

“We’ve lived in SF since ’98 and there was homelessness then,” tweeted @bc659.

“Worked in DC in 90s and I had to walk past 5-10 homeless people going to work on a daily basis,” tweeted @ellenwell–. “There’s always homeless people in any major city. Cutting off mental health access didn’t help!”

“There have been homeless camps ever since the Vietnam war,” shared @LJohnson1012. “What is new, is the opioid crisis has created more of them in the last 2 years.”

Some noted Trump’s remark on homeless starting two years ago was misunderstood and the president was really trying to say the problem had grown worse in the past two years.

“If you get Trump-speak, he was saying that homelessness has gotten A LOT worse in the past 2 years,” shared @hummingbird5225. “Having lived in LA, and traveled often to SF, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, YES, @POTUS is right! It has exponentially gotten worse in the past 2-4 years!”

“Well, I travel to SF and LA a bit and I will agree they’ve both gotten worse over the past 2-3 years. LA’s homeless problems have exploded and SF’s have accelerated. So, he’s not totally wrong,” tweeted @PolybiusChamp.

For more reactions to Trump’s interview, scroll through the gallery above.

Amy Graff is a news producer at SFGATE. Email her at

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