Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City apparently thinks he has the moral authority to say whether or not a sitting U.S. president is welcome back in his home city once his tenure concludes.
According to Mediaite, de Blasio told BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith at an event on Thursday night that President Trump will “not be welcome back” in the city he called home prior to his relocation to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
“I challenge you, Donald Trump, to come to New York City, and I will debate you about what’s right for New York City,” de Blasio said. “And BuzzFeed can host it! Because he doesn’t understand New York City. And when his presidency is over, really soon, he will not be welcome back in New York City!”
The New York mayor’s comments come shortly after getting into a Twitter spat this week with the president over recent viral videos of NYC denizens dousing NYPD cops with water. Trump claimed the spate of incidences were a product of de Blasio’s longstanding disrespect for the police.
Indeed, de Blasio and the NYPD have not exactly been on friendly terms since 2015, when two police officers were murdered in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. In response to the mayor’s lack of support, hundreds of cops turned their backs on de Blasio as he delivered the eulogy for the slain officers at their funerals.
“The officers’ deaths strained the relationship between city police unions and de Blasio, who union leaders have said contributed to an environment that allowed the killings by supporting protests following the deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri,” The Guardian reported at the time.
“We love our Law Enforcement Officers all around this great Country,” Trump said on Twitter. “What took place in NYC with water being tossed on NYPD officers was a total disgrace. It is time for [de Blasio] to STAND UP for those who protect our lives and serve us all so well. What took place was completely unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Bill de Blasio should act immediately!”
De Blasio responded by saying crime has gone down in New York City ever since Trump “left town,” which the mayor meant as an insult, seemingly unaware that it also implies crime went down in New York City after Trump became president.
“Crime’s gone down year after year in New York City and it’s not just because you finally left town,” de Blasio tweeted. “Here are the facts: New York City is the safest big city in America — and we got there because our NYPD officers and our communities worked together to drive crime to all-time lows. The real work that we’ve done that ACTUALLY protects officers.”
“[Trump] knows NOTHING about his hometown. He never lived a real New York City life. He should get off Twitter and stick to what he’s good at: watching TV when he claims to be working,” de Blasio continued.