New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio picked apart President Donald Trump's insistence that MS-13 gang members are a problem in the Big Apple, saying Trump is instead trying to paint all Latinos with a broad brush.
The mayor appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday and was asked about Trump's speech in Long Island in which he promised a continued crackdown on the infamous and violent gang.
"Let's talk about the speech in Long Island yesterday. That was painful. I went over the transcript again because I literally couldn't believe it at one point," de Blasio said. "It's not about MS-13. It's an attempt to paint Latinos as a danger to our country."
De Blasio said his city and its police department "reject" the idea, saying immigrants have worked with police over the last several years to make New York City a safe place for everyone.
"The last time we had this few murders in New York City, the Dodgers were playing at Ebbets Field," said de Blasio, referring to the Brooklyn stadium that was demolished in 1960. "That happened in the ultimate city of immigrants, with immigrant and police cooperation."
De Blasio added that Trump has told him numerous times that he believes New York City is a safe city with a decreasing crime rate.
"He knows, he's said to my face, he knows this is a safe city. And it's obviously a city of immigrants too," de Blasio said.
Trump caught flak from Democrats and some media organizations last week for calling MS-13 gang members animals, with many saying that the comparison was inhumane and that he was calling all illegal immigrants animals. The White House and Trump himself pushed back on the criticisms and said the president was talking about gang members.
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