Mayor Nutter: Trump Is an “Asshole,” a “Madman” and a “Danger to Society”
[Updated with news of hate crimes reward announcement.]
On Tuesday afternoon, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Mayor-elect Jim Kenney as well as other officials and local religious leaders gathered at City Hall to respond to the pig head left at a North Philadelphia mosque on Sunday night.
Nutter also used it as an opportunity to deliver a blistering tirade against Donald Trump, who this week suggested closing the borders to Muslim immigrants entirely.
“He is acting as a dangerous person,” declared Nutter. “He and his message of hate have no place in Philadelphia… Donald Trump has made himself a danger to society, all for the sake of electoral points. He has crossed a moral line.”
On Tuesday, City Hall also announced a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of anyone involved in a “hate crime,” including the pig’s head incident.
During the news conference, though, the focus was almost exclusively on Trump, with Nutter calling the candidate an “asshole” and a “madman.” (All this, after earlier in the day suggesting he’d like to ban Trump from Philadelphia.)
“Donald Trump’s comments are a threat to the moral security of the United States of America,” he said. “This is fear-mongering that we have not seen literally since the 1930s and 40s. Donald Trump has taken a page from the playbook of Hitler: He has demonized a group, blamed a group for the country’s problems and then he seeks to ban or eliminate that group as some kind of solution to a problem that does not exist. This is a dangerous form of American radicalization.”
When Kenney spoke, he recalled a time in Philadelphia when three Catholic churches were burned to the ground. Of the incident at the mosque, Kenney said, “We should all be outraged.” He described the act as “reprehensible.” He also took a shot at Philadelphia journalists who use the term “illegal aliens.” “They’re not aliens,” Kenney said. “They’re human beings.”
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey spoke briefly, explaining that investigators are attempting to enhance the surveillance video that show’s the suspect’s vehicle. Police are trying to obtain the license plate number. He added that police patrols have been stepped up at mosques as well as at other religious buildings.
The imam of the North Philadelphia mosque gave an address in Arabic, translated to English immediately after. He offered peace and blessings. “We all live in the same country regardless of faith or race,” his translator said. “Life is meant to be shared.”