NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A surprise last-minute trip to Germany to take part in G-20 demonstrations has New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio under fire again. The mayor said the overseas trip is a chance to fight against President Donald Trump's agenda and for issues that New Yorkers care about.
The mayor defended his absence on WNYC Radio during "The Brian Lehrer Show" on Friday.
"All the issues that need to be attended to I am attending to every day regardless of where I am," he said.
The mayor's trip comes just days after the murder of a New York City police officer, a train derailment at Penn Station, and a new report showing a significant increase in the homeless population in the city.
"The optics are not flattering. People want to know 'What is he going to do?'" Politico New York senior reporter Azi Paybarah said. "When he starts having debates about the national conversation about Donald Trump, it's not informing New Yorkers about what he plans to do in the next four years if he's reelected."
Some critics blasted him and said the mayor has work to do here at home.
Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running for mayor, was quick to react on Twitter to the mayor's trip.
"While #NYC's subways crumble, sex crimes increase double digits, litter on streets pile up & the number of street homeless soars...#G20," she tweeted.
De Blasio made no apologies for what he considers fighting for New York City on the world stage.
"This invitation was offered to me by the hosts. It was not something I expected, it was not something I had talked to anyone about," the mayor told WNYC Radio. "It came in, and I was honored and I thought it was an important moment to stand up and speak out for these values."