Donald Trump has criticised the mayor of New York’s plan to make a “Black Lives Matter” mural in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
President Trump tweeted that Bill de Blasio “wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign”.
“‘Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon’, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!” his tweet said.
Told that @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign. “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
The chant in which he refers to has not been common at protests in New York or elsewhere since the death of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis.
Mr Blasio responded to the US leader, tweeting: “Only warped minds equate the words Black Lives Matter with violence.
“It’s a movement to recognize and protect the lives of Black people. Nobody’s surprised that makes you uncomfortable.”
He added: “This city’s doing the REAL work of healing the rift between police and community – because unlike you we’re not afraid of doing the work.”
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City Hall officials announced on Wednesday that “Black Lives Matter” would be painted in bold letters on the street in front of the president’s midtown skyscraper.
“The president is a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City,” Mr de Blasio’s spokeswoman Julia Arredondo said.
Only warped minds equate the words Black Lives Matter with violence.
It’s a movement to recognize and protect the lives of Black people.
Nobody’s surprised that makes you uncomfortable. https://t.co/9tXVxqqEEF
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 25, 2020
“He can’t run or deny the reality we are facing, and any time he wants to set foot in the place he claims is his hometown, he should be reminded Black Lives Matter.”
She added that work on the mural in front of Trump Tower will start in the coming week.
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Earlier this month, Mr de Blasio announced that “Black Lives Matter” would be painted on the streets in several locations across New York.
The first was painted on a street in Brooklyn.
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The planned mural in front of Trump Tower was not on the city’s original list of locations.
The announcement follows the move by officials in Washington DC to paint the slogan in huge yellow letters on the street leading to the White House.
Mr Trump lived in Trump Tower before he took office as president but has spent little time there in recent years.
While his business empire is still headquartered there, he changed his official residence to Florida last year.