President Donald Trump ripped 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday as a “TOTAL RACIST” after audio released Tuesday from a 2015 speech showed the former mayor unapologetically defending his controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy, which targeted young men of color.
“WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday along with a link to the audio clip.
But Trump, who himself has been accused of racism and has praised stop and frisk during his presidency (most recently in 2018), deleted the tweet minutes after it was posted.
In reply to Trump’s tweet, Bloomberg said, “I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America.”
In the leaked audio clip, Bloomberg said that “Ninety-five percent of murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. — you could just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25 [years old].”
“One of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana. They’re all minorities,’” Bloomberg said during a talk at The Aspen Institute. “That’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do you 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 wall and frisk them, And then they start … ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home.”
Bloomberg fired back at Trump’s tweet with a blistering statement later Tuesday morning.
“President Trump’s deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans,” Bloomberg said.
Trump, he said, “inherited a country marching towards greater equality and divided us with racist appeals and hateful rhetoric. 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,” Bloomberg said.
“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.”
Audio emerges of Michael Bloomberg in 2015 defending stop and frisk and racial profiling in policing:
“The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 11, 2020
The president later shared a tweet from another user that used the hashtag #BloombergIsRacist and included a photo of Trump and the former mayor golfing.
Mini Mike is a short ball (very) hitter. Tiny club head speed. KEEP AMERICA GREAT! https://t.co/5DUj16jtZf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020