Milton Street: I’m Going to Take Donald Trump to K&A

At a protest outside the DA's office, Milton Street talked about Porngate, why he has a problem with Black Lives Matter, and his invitation to Trump.

Milton Street and a supporter

Milton Street and a supporter at a rally outside District Attorney Seth Williams’ office on Thursday afternoon. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

T. Milton Street wants to take Donald Trump to K&A.

Street — the former state representative and senator, perennial mayoral candidate, ex-convict, advocate for the poor and track suit enthusiast — met with Donald Trump yesterday at a rally for the presidential candidate in Virginia. He spoke about his meeting with Trump at a “Porngate” protest he held outside the Philadelphia district attorney’s office.

“My question to Trump was, ‘Will you come to Philadelphia into the black community?’” Street said. “I don’t want to bring Trump to Philadelphia and have the black community come to the Convention Center. Everybody goes to the Convention Center. Right? I want to take him to South Philly, the middle of North Philly, A and Kensington Avenue and see the real deal.” He said he would himself take Trump to K&A, the notorious intersection that’s become shorthand for Kensington’s open-air drug market.

“He indicated that he would do that, but we’ll see,” Street said. “It’s in his interest to.” Street said he’d be calling Trump’s office after today’s protest. The brother of former Philadelphia Mayor John Street, a Democrat who has switched parties in the past, said he was not himself a supporter of Trump. But he said if Trump accepts his invitation to go into black neighborhoods in Philadelphia and meet with members of the community, he would re-evaluate his position.

“What’s intriguing to me about Donald Trump — and I’ve been in politics for a while — is if he makes a promise to me, that there’s no contributors to say to him, ‘Withdraw that promise you made to Street. If you go down there we’re going to close our wallets to you,’” Street said. “He doesn’t have that problem, right? So when he makes a commitment, it’s his commitment. He can either keep it, or he can break it. That is a unique situation, one I’ve never been confronted with in all my years in politics.… if that was the case with Donald Trump I would never have spent my time talking to him.”

Street said Trump was an engaging speaker. Bloomberg called the Trump speech yesterday an “80-minute… barrage.” Street said he talked with the frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination about the Black Lives Matter movement, which he says does not focus enough on “black-on-black” crime.

“I have a problem with Black Lives Matter,” Street said. “And until Black Lives Matter goes into the black community, and stop the black-on-black crime — clean up your own house before you go running into somebody else’s house and try to clean it up. That was my message to Donald Trump.”

Street was not invited to the Manassas, Virginia rally himself. He was actually the guest of his daughter, Renee Street-Toppin, who was previously a member of the Richmond Christian Center. The pastor there, the Rev. Steve Parson, invited her and a plus-one to the rally. Toppin said she wasn’t a Trump supporter herself, either, but is interested in Trump because of her success in business. Toppin said is the marketing director for Surge 365, which she says has “a multi-level-marketing business model.” She said Trump “believes in multi-level marketing.” In 2003, Toppin defended her father in a letter to the Daily News, calling him a “brilliant businessman.” That letter also referenced Trump as a businessman she admires.

Toppin spoke first at today’s rally, which attracted a handful of supporters and a few interested passers-by. It was at least the fourth attempt Street’s made at holding a Porngate rally; at a previous appearance outside the DA’s office he called D.A. Seth Williams “ambitiously evil” and said he would project some of the emails sent to and from state email accounts to the public in some way.

He did not do that today. Before it turned into a discussion of Trump, the rally was a defense of three Philadelphia lawmakers who District Attorney Seth Williams prosecuted: Former State Representative Harold James, and state representatives Vanessa Lowery Brown, and Louise Williams Bishop. James pleaded guilty to one count of conflict of interest; Brown and Bishop are fighting the charges. Both Brown and Williams are accused of taking money from an informant, Tyron Ali, in a sting operation. Toppin gave an impassioned speech attacking Williams.

“Black elected officials are under attack, particularly women,” Toppin said. “We have women, black females, white females, who have risen to a place of power and respect, but we have housed right behind you a protective house for pornographers — a place where pornographers are protected. See, when you have pornography in your heart, when you have abuse of women in your heart, pornography is entertaining. When you’re not a racist, racist emails don’t entertain you. When you are not misogynistic, misogynistic emails do not entertain you. But when you have these things in your heart, it is a representation of who you are.

“And the heart of Frank Fina, and the other two, have come out in the form of over 400 emails over years, years of vile representations of women. So my question to you today is: Why is legacy under attack, particularly African-American legacy, by an African-American district attorney?”

Philadelphia prosecutors Fina, Patrick Blessington and Marc Costanzo have been connected to pornographic and offensive emails. Williams is standing by the prosecutors, who have received sensitivity training. He spoke with Philadelphia magazine’s Holly Otterbein in September on the issue.

Yestrerday, the Daily News described described several emails Fina sent. One had several mock motivational posters, including “EPIC BOOBS: Can turn heterosexual females into lesbians in 0.39 seconds.” Another email from Fina, per the DN, featured photos of professional tennis player Simona Halep, who later had breast reduction surgery. “Damn that is nice,” Special Agent Robert Gift replied, before shifting tone. “Are you going to be available tomorrow while I interview ADA Shaffer and possibly the DA about the Judge Pratt thing (just in case they have any questions)?” Fina and others have sued Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane, as well as Chris Brennan, the former Daily News writer who now writes for the Inquirer. The DA’s office has said Fina is not taking media inquiries.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has appointed former Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler as a special prosecutor to investigate the emails. Kane has been indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice; her law license has been suspended. On Monday, Kane accused some of her critics of “trying to get my job.”

Before Toppin spoke, Street talked about his own legacy: “I’m going to be passing the baton to her very shortly, anyhow.” He later handed out fliers with a list of demands.

Milton Street flier - Seth Williams

The flier Milton Street handed out today outside Seth Williams’ office.

Street said he’d be circulating a petition supporting these demands soon. He said he has not contacted and is not working with the lawyers of Brown, James or Bishop. He says he’ll update the press if he hears from Donald Trump’s campaign.