Robert Gehl reports that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is blaming Donald Trump for the racially-motivated murder of a black man in the city last Monday.
Speaking with a local television station, de Blasio called the murder of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman by a 28-year old white supremacist an act of “domestic, racist terrorism.”
That may be true, but where de Blasio went next is unbelievable:
“The challenge here is that a dynamic of hatred has been growing in this country over the last year or more, particularly come out in the open, is clearly related to the rhetoric of Donald Trump and even other candidates during the presidential election that have unleashed forces of hate all over the country,” he said. “An atmosphere of hate has been created.”
Shortly before midnight on Monday, March 20, James Jackson fatally stabbed Caughman from behind with a sword. He had traveled from Baltimore to commit the gruesome murder, saying he was planning to kill more black men in Times Square.
The New York City Democrat has blamed Trump before for an uptick of hate crimes in the city.
Last December, de Blasio said: “You can’t have a candidate for president single out groups of Americans, negatively, and not have some ramifications for that.” But when asked then if the rise in hate crimes was “directly” related to Trump’s remarks, de Blasio said it was “more complicated than that.”
Earlier this month, de Blasio visited a Jewish community center on Staten Island that was among dozens of Jewish organizations around the country targeted with bomb threats. He was joined at the event by City Councilman Joe Borelli, a top Trump campaign surrogate. Both downplayed the notion of any linkage to Trump.
When asked on Staten Island if he saw a connection to Trump and the targeted attacks on Jewish organizations, de Blasio said the president’s action “does not help at all.” The mayor went on to say, “forces of hate have been unleashed that we have not seen anything like, in decades.”
When asked about de Blasio’s remarks, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement to POLITICO New York, “The President has repeatedly condemned any racially or religiously motivated act of violence and to suggest anything different is dishonest and misleading.”