- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

President Trump on Tuesday accused Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire and potential 2020 rival, of pandering to black voters when he apologized in November for the controversial stop-and-frisk policies that were in effect during his tenure as New York City mayor.

Mr. Bloomberg, a Democratic primary contender who is spending big on ads against Mr. Trump, is facing heat over newly surfaced audio in which he is heard saying that the way to confiscate illegal guns from young black males is to “throw them up against the walls and frisk them.”

Speaking from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump decided to lean into the controversy, slamming the 77-year-old former mayor for how he apologized to black voters at a Brooklyn megachurch last fall.

“He went up to a church and he apologized for everything he’s ever done. That was only for getting votes and I think probably people understand that,” Mr. Trump said.

“I think when a man is with stop-and-frisk his whole life, and then he decides to go Democrat, and he goes to a church, and he’s practically crying, you look like hell. He’s practically crying, saying how what a horrible thing he did,” Mr. Trump added. “I think that’s so disingenuous.”

Mr. Trump ranted about Mr. Bloomberg “buying his way” into the race and said he’d rather square off against Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and his “real followers.”

“He’s a lightweight and you’re gonna find out,” the president, who comes from New York City, said of Mr. Bloomberg. “He’s also one of the worst debaters I’ve ever seen.”

The president then revived his role as reviewer-in-chief, saying the optics of Mr. Bloomberg’s apology were poor.

“You watch go back to the church where he apologized for everything he ever did practically,” Mr. Trump said. “And he looked pathetic. Our country doesn’t need that kind of leadership.”

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