Thursday, following an alleged racial incident in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney—without even knowing all of the facts—said the incident was motivated by President Donald Trump’s “hateful rhetoric.”
His statement, in full, read:
“I am sickened by what took place today at Weccacoe Playground. Although the investigation is still underway, I want to immediately condemn this despicable act. It demonstrates how far this country has fallen when people are inspired by the hateful rhetoric of our President. And it is particularly disgraceful to make a sacrilege out of a sacred burial ground, where thousands of African Americans are interred. The City will do everything in its power to bring the people responsible to justice for this disgusting act.”
When the full facts were revealed, it turns out the incident was a prank played by two teenagers and did not have any racially-motivated intent.
In response, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio, made the following statement and is calling on Mayor Kenney to apologize for his remarks:
“Mayor Kenney owes the President an apology. In fact, he owes the citizens of Pennsylvania an apology.
“Subscribing to the ‘never let them facts get in the way of politics’ theory, Kenney blamed the President for a racially insensitive teenage prank without regard for the truth. It is this kind of pre-judgement that causes such divisiveness in our political discourse today.
“Yet again, Mayor Kenney has abused his role as the mayor of one of America’s leading cities. He put petty, partisan politics above leadership and civic duty.
“I’m deeply disappointed that he would rush to judgement and stoop this low to try to score cheap political points at the expense of the President and his supporters, be they Republicans, Democrats or Independents.
“Therefore, I call on Mayor Kenney to apologize for his remarks in the name of civil discourse and political reconciliation.”