WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden wants to see the resignations of three Los Angeles City Council members who participated in a racially charged discussion caught in a leaked recording.
“He believes they should both resign,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “The language used and allowed during the conversation was unacceptable and appalling.”
Biden’s position follows calls to resign from California Democrats, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., is running for mayor to replace Garcetti.
More:After racist recording, Los Angeles City Council president takes leave; Biden calls for resignation
Four L.A. politicians — including three Latino members of the L.A. City Council — can be heard speaking out about racism in the recording, first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Its release is the latest incident in the racial divide between Latinos and Blacks in one of the nation’s cities.
Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, resigned on Tuesday. But the President of the La City Council, Nury Martinez, who is in the middle of the controversy, has stopped short of resigning, instead of resigning and resigning as the president of the council.
“The president is happy to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned. But they all have to,” said Jean-Pierre.
Martinez could be heard making racist remarks about the Black child of white council members, Mike Bonin, “who treated his little Black son like he was helping.” He also described this son in Spanish as a “monkey.” The other two participants are LA council members Kevin De Len and Gil Cedillo. Both remain in their council seats.
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Although everyone on the record is a Democrat, Jean-Pierre sought to differ with Republicans over how parties respond to racism within their ranks.
“When a Democrat says something racist or anti-Semitic, we really hold Democrats accountable. When a MAGA Republican says something racist or anti-Semitic, they are embraced by the cheering crowd and they are celebrated and sought-after.”
Jean-Pierre pointed to Saturday’s comments from Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., at a meeting with President Donald Trump, in which the senator said that Democrats would reverse the child slavery award because “they think people who commit crimes owe that debt. .”
Biden is scheduled to visit Los Angeles on Wednesday to attend a Democratic fundraiser and talk about the property-use legislation passed last year. The trip was planned before the LA City Council debate began.
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.