Just hours before President Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix, Arizona, the city’s mayor reiterated Tuesday that “the timing could not be worse” for the event in the wake of the president's controversial handling of deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“It is the wrong time for a presidential visit, the wrong time for a campaign rally so soon after the tragedy in Charlottesville,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon. Stanton has repeatedly called for Trump to postpone the visit.
Stanton said Trump showed a "failure of moral leadership” after the events in Charlottesville and said the president should apologize during his remarks at the planned Phoenix rally Tuesday evening.
"Unfortunately for the president, he has hurt not only his own reputation but really inflamed racial tension across the country as a result of this failure of moral leadership," he said.
"He ought to look at the people of Phoenix, he ought to look at the American people and say 'I am sorry for my failure of moral leadership after Charlottesville, I blew it' and try to make right," he added.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
Trump drew condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the events in Charlottesville, first for his failure to outwardly condemn white supremacists until days after and then later for blaming "two sides" for the violence that left one woman dead and 19 others injured.
Stanton also called on Trump not to pardon Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Arizona sheriff who was found guilty last month of criminally disobeying a court order for refusing to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.