New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday blamed President Donald Trump for a surge of anti-Semitic and other bias incidents in New York City and the nation.
Speaking on his weekly #AskTheMayor call-in radio show on WNYC, the Democratic mayor said the NYPD has been dealing with an upswing in bias incidents since the 2016 election season.
“The horrible, hateful rhetoric that was used in this election by candidate Trump and by a lot of his supporters directly connects to an increase since the election in anti-Semitic incidents, anti-Muslim incidents and anti-LGBT incidents,” de Blasio said. “It is clear here and it is clear around the country.”
De Blasio did not provide specifics to document the rise.
Trump has repeatedly demurred when asked about a rise in anti-Jewish hatred. At Thursday’s news conference, Trump said a Jewish reporter who was wearing a yarmulke and asking about anti-Semitism was lying and told him to sit down. Later, the Republican president said the source of anti-Semitism is actually his administration’s political opponents.
On Friday’s radio show, de Blasio said he considered the reporter’s question “100 percent fair and respectful.”
“Negative forces have been unleashed in this country, and they have to be beaten back, and in this city we’re going to do that very vividly,” he said.
Separately Friday, de Blasio promised to fight two successive court losses for the city — last year in a state trial court, another on Thursday from an appeals panel — rejecting his attempt to give some ratepayers a $183 credit on water and sewer bills and raise the rates for others, including landlords, by about 2.1 percent.
He blamed his court losses on the landlord lobby that filed the challenge of de Blasio’s refund policy.
“We’re gonna keep fighting. We’re going to fight in court on behalf of these 664,000 homeowners to make sure they get fairness,” he said from the City Hall rotunda. “This is part of working for an affordable city, and it’s also a matter of fundamental fairness.”