On Wednesday, the president took to Twitter to slam the Black Lives Matter sign that will be painted along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, right outside Trump Tower. POTUS specifically took aim at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for supporting the proposed mural, calling it a "symbol of hate" that would denigrate the "luxury Avenue" and "and further antagonize" local police. He also blasted NYC's recently approved budget, which will move $1 billion from the NYPD's $6 billion annual budget to education and social service agencies.
....horrible BLM chant, “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
De Blasio defended the police budget cuts Wednesday during an appearance on MSNBC.
"We're reducing the size of the NYPD, we're reducing overtime, we're moving some of the functions NYPD does now — they will be replaced by civilians handling those functions who can do them better. And we're going to take that money and put it into youth initiatives," he explained, before touching on the city's planned BLM mural. "... It's an important message to the whole nation, and obviously we want the president to hear it because he's never shown respect for those three words ... We have to make it come alive today so we're going to make it really clear to the president, it's going to be right outside his doorstep."
In wake of the nationwide protests against systemic racism, cities across the country have announced plans to take down Confederate statues from public spaces. Trump, of course, has defended these symbols of hate and lamented their removal. He's even threatened a 10-year prison term for anyone who is caught destroying federal statues and monuments.
"You don’t want to take away our heritage and history and the beauty, in many cases, the beauty, the artistic beauty," he said during a recent interview with FOX News. "Some of the sculptures and some of this work is some of the great — you can go to France, you can go anywhere in the world and you will never see more magnificent work. And that’s a factor. It’s not the biggest factor but it’s a factor.