President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE slammed a decision to remove a statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt from the front steps of the Museum of Natural History in New York City, calling it "ridiculous."
In a Monday morning tweet, Trump urged officials not to remove the statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback leading two figures, one Native American and one African.
Ridiculous, don’t do it! https://t.co/VYez8p9AJh— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
City officials and museum staff announced the decision jointly on Sunday, pointing to the recent protests over the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans in encounters with law enforcement as a reason for reflection on the statue's controversial depiction of Black and Indigenous people.
The museum said that the statue "has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist."
The museum’s president, Ellen Futter, said in an interview with The New York Times that the museum community "has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd” in recent weeks.
“We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism," Futter added.
“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” added New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC officials recommend masks indoors, but won't reimpose mandates Rep. Suozzi to run for New York governor Oversight panel eyes excessive bail, jail overcrowding in New York City MORE (D).
“The City supports the Museum’s request," he added. "It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”