President Trump said Wednesday that a “Black Lives Matter” mural painted on a New York City street would be “a symbol of hatred” and, after taking another crack at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, the president apparently suggested that New York police officers could prevent it from happening
Last Thursday, Mayor de Blasio announced that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” would be painted in large yellow letters on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets in Manhattan, where the Trump Tower is located.
“The president is a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City,” Julia Arredondo, a De Blasio spokeswoman, said Thursday. “You cannot run or deny the reality we are facing, and every time you want to set foot in the place that you say is your hometown, you must be reminded that black lives are important.”
On Tuesday, New York City officials announced they agreed to a proposed budget that included the redistribution of $ 1 billion initially earmarked for the New York police.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump wrote: “New York is slashing $ 1 from the police for A BILLION DOLLARS, and yet @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives poster. Matter on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxurious Avenue. “
The President added: “Perhaps our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and despised by a mayor who hates and does not respect them, will not allow this hate symbol to stick to New York’s biggest street. Spend this money fighting crime! “
Despite recent polls suggesting that an overwhelming number of Americans (including most Republicans) support protests against racism and police brutality, and that most citizens disapprove of Trump’s handling of national protests after After the murder of George Floyd, the President has shown no inclination to tone down his rhetoric. Over the weekend, Trump retweeted a video that featured images of a white man driving a golf cart adorned with Trump campaign posters and flags, screaming, “White power!” before deleting the tweet about three hours later. Late last month, Trump appeared to threaten violence against protesters (whom Trump called “HITS”) in Minneapolis after Floyd’s death, tweeting: “When the looting begins, the shooting begins.”
Last week, after De Blasio announced the street painting, Trump tweeted, referring to the BLM movement, “‘Pigs in a blanket, Fry’ Em Like Bacon ‘, referring to killing the police, is his song” . He made reference to the same sentence on Wednesday. The singing was used during a 2015 protest in Minnesota. According to the New York Times, A scene from that 2015 protest had recently appeared on a segment of Tucker Carlson’s Fox News nightly show.
Trump retweeted (then deleted) video of a supporter yelling ‘White Power’ (Forbes)
Trump criticizes De Blasio for plans to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ in front of Trump Tower (Fox News)
Fox News hosts and prominent Republicans, including his own son, urge Trump to put on a mask (Forbes)