Philly Mayor Jim Kenney: 'Scary' Trump Frightens Me More Than I Was Frightened in 1968

Claims he stands for the national anthem because he is a 'privileged white male'

June 5, 2018

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D.) said on Tuesday that he's more scared now by President Donald Trump than he was in 1968 at the height of Vietnam War.

"I don't how you can make your case to a child who acts childish, who changes his opinion and his statements every single day and who, frankly, frightens me more than I was frightened in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War," Kenney said on CNN. "And the guy is just a scary guy, and I don't – hopefully, by the time he's gone, we can recover from this mess, but this is a bad time in our country."

Kenney's remarks came during a conversation with CNN host John Berman, who spoke to Kenney following Trump's decision to cancel the Philadelphia Eagle's post-Super Bowl win visit to the White House. Berman asked the mayor what about Trump frightens him.

"What specifically are you frighten about here?" Berman asked.

"I'm frightened about the fact that he has his hands on the nuclear codes, that he threatens to annihilate North Korea in the middle of Japan and South Korea," Kenney answered.

In the past, Trump used rhetoric like "fire and fury" to describe how the U.S. might respond to North Korea, but tensions between the two nations have lessened in the past few months. The Trump administration has pushed for North Korea to denuclearize, while promising security and prosperity in return. A historic summit, where the two leaders hope to lay the foundation for a deal, is back on for June 12.

Berman noted Trump is set to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in a week and the annihilation of North Korea doesn't seem likely in the near future.

"But over the next couple hours, that could change," Kenney quipped.

"Specifically in relation to the anthem, though, do you think there is a legitimate discussion to be had about how athletes behave during the national anthem?" Berman asked.

"Athletes are American citizens who have the right – the First Amendment right to express their views," Kenney said.

Kenney went on to say he stands and puts his hand over his heart when the national anthem plays because he is a "privileged white male."

"I stand when the anthem is played with my hand over my heart because I'm a privileged white male," Kenney said. "There are other people in this country who the issues of this country have effected them differently, and they have a right to express their discontent and a right to express the fact that they're protesting against certain things. And no one has the right to take that away."