Eric Trump Offers Bill de Blasio an Olive Branch, but NYC Mayor Says No More Business

Having long been a critic, Eric Trump exhibited uncharacteristic appreciation of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for keeping open two ice skating rinks operated by the Trump Organization.

But the city is refusing to relent on its push to sever ties with Donald Trump's businesses in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot the former president is accused of inciting, an allegation he denies.

Last month, de Blasio announced NYC would be terminating three contracts with the Trump Organization following the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6. The decision affects the Central Park Carousel, Wollman and Lasker skating rinks, and Ferry Point Golf Course—all of which are operated by Trump's business empire.

"The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement last month, adding the city "will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form."

On the decision to keep the Central Park rinks open, de Blasio's press secretary Bill Neidhardt told Newsweek: "New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year. The Wollman and Lasker rinks will stay open under current management for the few weeks left in this season.

"But make no mistake, we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven."

Eric Trump, the former president's son and executive president of the Trump Organization, reacted to the ice rink news with heartfelt gratitude towards the mayor, a vocal critic of his father.

"Mr. Mayor - Thank You for keeping Wollman and Lasker Rinks open — you've just made countless NYC families (along w our 250 employees) incredibly happy," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "This is a bright moment for New York and please know we appreciate it. I look forward to saying 'thanks' in person."

The decision was also positively received by community members who protested the rinks' shuttering. Local non-profit organization Ice Hockey in Harlem praised the move to reopen its "home" Lasker Rink as an "incredible turn of events."

High schooler Serena Sabet, who garnered more than 6,000 signatures on an online petition to keep the rinks open, said there was "not a dry eye at the rink" when the decision was announced.

According to The Associated Press, Erik Trump had previously complained the rinks' closure to be "purely a political stunt that only hurts New Yorkers."

"Instead of focusing on a dying city which everyone is leaving because of rising crime, high taxes, closed businesses and totally incompetent leadership, the Mayor is painting signs in front of Trump Tower and trying to destroy the only outdoor activity available to children during a pandemic," Trump said in a statement.

Trump did not appear fond of de Blasio in the past, having especially criticized the Democrat mayor over perceived bias against law enforcement. In July 2019, Trump called de Blasio a "disgrace to NYC" detested by "virtually everyone in the NYPD."

In a 2020 appearance on Fox News, Trump called de Blasio "anti-cop" and claimed his policies have made New York "more dangerous."

"He has been so anti-law enforcement, and it shows," Trump said. "He allows them to get beat up and he allows them to get assaulted and he takes away their rights."

In May 2019, after de Blasio held a press conference in the Trump Tower lobby urging the Trump Organization to cut greenhouse emissions, Trump called the event "childish."

"The fact that the Mayor of a major city would attack an iconic organization (which employs thousands of hardworking New York taxpayers) for his own political gain is an abuse of power, unethical and simply counterintuitive," Trump tweeted.

This story was updated on February 22 at 10:35 a.m. ET to include a statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary.

Eric Trump speaks during RNC
Eric Trump delivers a pre-recorded speech at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, on August 25, 2020, on the second day of the Republican National Convention. Olivier DOULIERY/AFP