Charlottesville's Jewish Mayor Attacks Trump After Car-ramming: 'Look at the Campaign He Ran'

Mike Signer says weekend events in Charlottesville should serve as a 'turning point' and calls for unity against racism

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer at a press conference in the town, November 15, 2016.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer at a press conference in the town, November 15, 2016. Ryan M. Kelly/AP

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va - Mike Signer, the mayor of Charlottesville, attacked U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday morning, telling CNN in an interview: “Look at the campaign he ran.” He called on people from all political and religious backgrounds to join forces and fight back against racism, and expressed hope that the president would do the same.

A white supremacist rally in the town turned violent on Saturday and a man rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one. Trump responded to the incidents by condemned the violence "on many sides."

In another interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Signer stated that Trump’s campaign “made a choice to go to people’s prejudices, to go to the gutter,” and added that “the time has come for this to stop. This should be a turning point.” He said that the so-called "alt-right" white nationalist movement "has run its course."

Signer, a Democrat who assumed office for the first time last year, also called the car-ramming “a terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon. What we saw this weekend was a deluge of outsiders trying to intimidate us.” Signer vowed to begin a “healing process” in Charlottesville and said its residents will not allow far-right groups to change the course of their lives.

Signer, who is Jewish, became a target for online incitement and harassment from far-right activists earlier this year after he spoke out against their rallies and demonstrations in Charlottesville. At the time, he also directed some of the blame toward President Trump, tweeting, “Here is what this great country faces in this age of @realDonaldTrump — a sitting mayor subjected to anti-Semitism. I will not be intimidated.”