New York Mayor Bill de Blasio held a campaign-style event about climate change at Trump Tower today. It was supposed to be held outside but the NY Post reports the event did not go quite as planned.
The mayor had planned a press conference outside the tower that houses president’s Manhattan residence, but Mother Nature forced him to relocate the event into some very unfriendly territory—the gilded building’s public lobby.
“Had the weather cooperated we would have been outside,” the mayor admitted.
The atrium is one of several privately-owned, public spaces in the city that are created in exchange for loosening height restrictions.
Trump Tower staff turned up the dial on the PA system just moments before the mayor entered the 5th Avenue building. Tony Bennet’s “Stranger in Paradise” and Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” blasted through the speakers during the event.
In addition to being drowned out by the PA, the Mayor also had to deal with a group of Trump supporters who were riding up and down the escalators behind him carrying signs that read “Worst Mayor Ever” and “Trump 2020.” Here’s what that looked like:
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio is trolled by Trump Supporters at a Green New Deal Rally…😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ucqnIA5MoK
— CHIZ 🇺🇸 (@CHIZMAGA) May 13, 2019
This is a circus:
Scene in lobby of Trump tower as Trump supporters try to drown out de Blasio rally with signs saying “worst mayor ever” pic.twitter.com/5xo7wYpHKI
— Melissa Russo (@MelissaRusso4NY) May 13, 2019
After his speech, de Blasio was asked questions including if he planned to hold any other New York real estate developers to the same standard. He said he would but couldn’t name any others, Politico reports:
Monday’s event was meant to tout a City Council bill passed in April, which mandates buildings larger than 25,000 square feet cut their emissions or face fines. Buildings are the leading source of greenhouse gases in the city. The bill, which the mayor has yet to sign, is a symbol of the city’s “Green New Deal” and his intent to go after any landlord, “even the president of the United States,” the mayor said.
That message was somewhat blunted when the mayor was unable to name any other landlords with high-emissions buildings and when it was revealed de Blasio had been driven to the event — a sore spot for a mayor who has been criticized for regularly riding a gas-guzzling SUV to his local gym.
Things also took a turn de Blasio probably didn’t expect when he was asked about a car accident he was involved in back in 2015 which the NYPD covered up. Today, more information was revealed about that crash. It seems de Blasio’s vehicle (he was in the back seat as a passenger) was driving against traffic with sirens on when the accident occurred. From the NY Daily News:
Mayor de Blasio’s NYPD SUV was cruising the wrong way with lights and sirens blaring when it got into a car crash, sparking a frantic cover-up by his security detail, a new accident report obtained by the Daily News shows…
The mayor was en route to a Harlem walk-run event. Text messages obtained by the Daily News showed that the commanding officer of the unit, Inspector Howard Redmond, ordered the accident be covered up. Sources said Redmond feared the headlines about the crash in light of de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to reduce pedestrian and traffic deaths through stricter enforcement, according to multiple sources close to the Executive Protection Unit.
After the accident, de Blasio’s driver pulled over and let him out and walked away before the driver of the other vehicle approached. Today when he was asked about the incident he said he didn’t remember it. From Gothamist:
The mayor was en route to a Harlem walk-run event. Text messages obtained by the Daily News showed that the commanding officer of the unit, Inspector Howard Redmond, ordered the accident be covered up. Sources said Redmond feared the headlines about the crash in light of de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to reduce pedestrian and traffic deaths through stricter enforcement, according to multiple sources close to the Executive Protection Unit…
Asked by a reporter if he’d considered telling his security not to drive on the wrong side of the street, de Blasio replied, “I don’t really remember times when they did that. So if it’s happened from time to time because of a specific security situation, that’s up to them. I trust the NYPD to make the right decisions, but I have not witnessed or been aware of something like that.” (Except, presumably, that one time in 2015 that resulted in a crash and subsequent investigation, but was otherwise “very minor” and unmemorable.)
All that to say, the Mayor didn’t have a particularly great day on the pre-campaign trail. The Washington Post reports he was asked about running for president too. “We will make a final decision this week and we will announce it this week,” he replied.