Bloomberg defends himself after Trump calls him a ‘racist’ in deleted tweet
Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday hit back at President Trump for tweeting an audio clip that drew attention to Bloomberg’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing policy and called the former New York City mayor “A TOTAL RACIST.”
The tweet had already been deleted by the time Bloomberg issued a statement about it.
Bloomberg, now running for president, has acknowledged that the policy was a mistake. The clip was from 2015, a year after he left office.
“President Trump’s deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans,” Bloomberg said. “I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on black and Latino communities.”
Earlier Tuesday, Trump tweeted a leaked audio clip from Bloomberg’s 2015 appearance at a conference in Aspen, Colo., where he defended the policy.
“Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one MO,” Bloomberg said in the clip. “You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city.
“We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes. That’s true,” Bloomberg continued. “Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them.”
After his appearance, the Aspen Times reported that Bloomberg requested that the organizers not distribute footage of the event, and that they agreed.
The recording was originally posted to Twitter on Monday night by podcast host Benjamin Dixon, who added the hashtag #BloombergIsARacist.
Trump tweeted the clip with a message in capital letters: “WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!”
Bloomberg’s statement highlighted his plans to end mass incarceration and address school funding in minority communities if elected.
“In contrast, President Trump inherited a country marching towards greater equality and divided us with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric,” Bloomberg said. “The challenge of the moment is clear: We must confront this President and do everything we can to defeat him.
“The President’s attack on me clearly reflects his fear over the growing strength of my campaign,” he added. “Make no mistake Mr. President: I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America. Between now and November, I will do everything I can to defeat you whether I am on the ballot or not.”