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Rick Kriseman says the door IS open for President-elect Donald Trump to visit St. Petersburg

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although he undoubtedly has other issues to contend with at the moment, the welcome mat IS out for Donald Trump to visit St. Petersburg whenever he likes, Mayor Rick Kriseman’s spokesman says.

Last December, Kriseman made national news when he tweeted that, “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St. Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps,” shortly after the now president-elect had called for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims from entering the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Kriseman immediately said that the tweet was delivered tongue-in-cheek, saying, “There are some people who thought I was seriously going to ban Donald Trump from St. Petersburg, and that’s obviously not something I would try to do. But his statement was kind of ridiculous, so I thought that it deserved an equal response.”

With Trump now about to become the 45th president of the United States last week, the Kriseman administration says it would welcome the commander in chief to visit the Sunshine City.

“As we said last year, it was in jest to highlight Mr. Trump’s discriminatory policy proposal of banning Muslims,” Ben Kirby, Kriseman’s press spokesman, told SPB on Monday. “Haven’t spoken to the mayor about it, but confident our POTUS is welcome in St. Pete. As our vision says, it is a city where all are welcome to live, work, and play.”

Speaking of tweets, the Pinellas County Republican Party took issue with Kriseman’s tweet Sunday night regarding a protest against Trump held in downtown St. Pete.

“Thank you to this evening’s peaceful protesters for being engaged in nat’l affairs and to @StPetePD for keeping everyone safe,” the mayor wrote.

Shortly thereafter, the Pinellas County Republican Party re-tweeted Kriseman’s tweet and commented, “Mayor Kriseman praises those protesting representative government. Let that sink in.” ‪#flapol ‪#sayfie ‪#dumpkriseman

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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