PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney had strong words for President Donald Trump following the backlash the president has received after tweeting that four Democratic congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries. Kenney said that Trump would “have to go to hell” if he ever went back where he came from.
Kenney made the comment Tuesday while announcing new steps to help immigrants facing deportation.
“I have this vision of one day in heaven, or outside of heaven because they’re not going to get in, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Tom Homan, and everybody else standing in a cyclone-fenced dungeon, a cyclone-fenced cell outside of heaven for eternity because that’s what they’re going to have to do because what they’re doing now is so anti-human, antithetical, anti-American, anti-decent, it’s all terrible what they’re doing,” Kenney said. “The step the president took yesterday when he told four American citizens to go back where they came from makes him an idiot because he didn’t know they were born in Detroit and Chicago and New York, so that’s the problem. If Donald Trump ever has to go back where he came from, he’s going to have to go to hell.”
Trump’s criticism was aimed at four freshman Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and thinly veiled distaste for Trump: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family. He accused his four outspoken critics of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician” and added, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” — echoing taunts long unleashed against political dissidents rather than opposing parties’ lawmakers.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump said during a tweetstorm on Sunday.
Trump defended his tweets on Tuesday, saying they were not racist.
“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump said.
Ocasio-Cortez returned his fire.
“You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head and a racist heart in your chest,” she tweeted.
Kenney has had harsh criticism of Trump in the past, calling the president last year a “tyrant” who “is trying to turn this country into a dictatorship” after he disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House following their Super Bowl win.
Trump has also taken aim at Philadelphia before, claiming that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner didn’t go after criminals who pose a severe threat to public safety.
The City of Philadelphia has committed $100,000 to support deportation defense in 2020.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)