New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used an appearance on CNN Monday to address the raucous Republican presidential race, calling front-runner Donald Trump a divisive candidate who uses racism to win votes.
"Look what he’s said about Muslims. Look what he’s said about Mexicans. It’s a clear pattern of division and using race as a wedge and using race as a strategic tool. That’s racism," de Blasio said on CNN’s "New Day."
He went on to say Trump is engaged in "cynical" racism because he uses it as a tool to advance his political campaign.
"In this case, he's on the national stage, he's a front-runner for the Republican nomination," de Blasio said. "His words are his actions in this case. He is literally encouraging people to feel negative things about people other than them; in fact, he's taking advantage of it politically."
De Blasio weighed in on the issue on Twitter over the weekend, writing: "I didn’t realize this was in question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist…of course @RealDonaldTrump is a racist."
Trump has not publicly responded to de Blasio's remarks.