NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rants against President Donald Trump have become a national phenomenon after the city’s Republican Party chairwoman lashed out at him for being disrespectful of the U.S. flag.
The New York City mayor’s latest comments on Tuesday evening included a reference to the white supremacist group known as the Ku Klux Klan and an attack on Trump’s health and appearance, which led to a barrage of negative media coverage.
De Blasio, the first African American mayor of New York, was speaking to an audience of about 500 people at a rally in New Jersey’s Hudson Valley on Tuesday night.
The crowd booed and jeered as he was taken from the stage.
In the speech, which was posted to social media, he called Trump a “fascist” and a “racist.”
He said he would be more “cautious” about attending future events where he had to share a stage with the president.
DeBlasio also told the crowd he would not attend the president’s upcoming State of the Union address in January because of the threat he poses to the safety of the country.
Trump has faced criticism for his handling of the protests over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.
DePasquale was the only speaker at the rally who called for the resignation of the mayor.
A handful of protesters remained in the crowd, some holding signs with the message “We are the majority.”
“It’s time for us to put our money where our mouth is,” said one woman, who identified herself only as Jane.
“I’m not going to vote for the mayor again, but I’m going to show up and vote for other candidates who are going to fight for us.”
The mayor has repeatedly lambasted the president in recent days for not standing up for minority communities, including a remark in which he said “the police are the enemy” and said his policies on race were “a failure.”
A group of about a dozen protesters had gathered at the event but the mayor removed them, saying they had been trying to disrupt the rally.
He then told the group to leave the venue and he would “go to my home.”
He later returned to the stage to confront the protesters, who were not wearing masks.
“This is an attack,” De Blasio said.
“It’s a disgrace to the country that we have to deal with this.”
He continued, saying he had no problem with protesters standing on the sidewalk or blocking traffic.
“You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t need to agree on everything, but you do have to respect the fact that you have a right to protest, and we don’t want to see this country be divided.”
Trump has called the protests “un-American” and has said he doesn’t condone violence.
He also has called for police officers to use pepper spray to remove protesters from the streets.
The Trump administration has denied the president has a racist bone in his body.
He is the first sitting U.N. president to address the crowd.