Mayor de Blasio held a chaotic campaign-style rally inside Trump Tower on Monday despite claiming he hasn’t decided if he’s running for president.
Hizzoner promised to announce his final decision this week after pledging to slap Trump Organization with millions in fines annually if they don’t cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Cut your emissions or…we will take your money, we will fine you, we will hold you accountable,” de Blasio shouted in Trump Tower’s public lobby over a chorus of protesters. “We know the president is sensitive about money.”
De Blasio trumpeted the city’s “Green New Deal” just up the escalator from where President Trump announced his own long-shot White House bid almost four years ago — as protesters and the building’s management tried to drown him out.
Trump supporters swore, booed and chanted while de Blasio spoke, carrying signs declaring him the “the worst mayor ever” with depictions of the “failed mayor” as a donkey, poop and Sesame Street’s Big Bird.
“This is music to my ears,” de Blasio said. “They can go on all they want, and we’re going to keep spreading our message.”
Only one protester would speak to reporters and some appeared to work in Trump Tower. They rode up and down an escalator behind de Blasio and Trump Tower even blasted Frank Sinatra and other music in the lobby in a clear attempt to muffle the mayor’s message. In response de Blasio backers chanted “our planet, not your profit.”
“Clearly, the Trump organization is a little sensitive to the fact that we’re calling them out for what they are doing to the climate and the way this building is part of the problem,” said de Blasio said, who was driven to the event.
Most of the city’s largest buildings would have to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change under Council legislation passed last month.
The president’s eight biggest New York properties would owe more than $2.1 million in fines every year starting in 2030 if they don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the mayor’s office.
Trump Tower faces an estimated $469,848 annual fine if no improvements are made and the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Central Park West would owe roughly $850,871 a year, officials said.
De Blasio has yet to sign the Council’s bill. But he said Trump properties are some of the worst performing buildings, which would have to curb emissions by 2024. Fines would start in 2025 and 2030 depending on the buildings.
The Trump eight properties release roughly 27,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year — the equivalent of 5,800 cars. But the Trump buildings aren’t the worst offenders.
De Blasio didn’t know which properties pump out the most emissions. The mayor wouldn’t say if he would also publicly shame other owners or buildings.
“This is clearly a taxpayer-funded search for relevance in a crowded 2020 field,” said public advocate candidate and Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), who was a Trump’s 2016 campaign co-chair in New York.
De Blasio insisted the event had nothing to do with his presidential aspirations, but said he will finally come to a decision on running for the White House in the next few days.
“I’ve been talking to my family, we will make a final decision this week and we’ll announce it this week,” de Blasio said.
The mayor would join more than 20 other declared Democratic candidates armed with dismal support in recent polls of the presidential race. He may not even qualify for the first primary debates.
But de Blasio said running the “most diverse place on earth” makes him a leader. And he said having the “second toughest job in America” — behind the presidency — makes him “unflappable” to protests like those he encountered in Trump Tower.
“You can’t let anything bother you because you have to make decisions all the time,” de Blasio said.
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