BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Mayor Catherine Pugh defended her decision to remove four controversial monuments after the president called leaders who took that action “weak.”

President Donald Trump called those leaders “weak people” but after giving the go ahead to remove those monuments, mayor Pugh is showing no sign of backing down.

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“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history and our weak leaders they do it overnight,” Trump said. “These things have been there for 150 years for a hundred years. You go back to a university and it’s gone. Weak, weak people.”

“I’m praying for him. I’m praying for him because he needs to understand that love is the answer and not disrespecting anyone,” Pugh said “I don’t disrespect any politician or anyone in his position.”

Earlier this month, violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia as the city considered removing a Robert E. Lee statue, where one woman was killed.

The events forced leaders around the country to remove some of the controversial monuments. In Maryland, six were removed in just a matter of days.

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In the early days of her administration, mayor Pugh had high hopes to work with president Trump, but she’s also had disagreements with the administration.

“I would hope that as he reviews his remarks, that he understands that is not the way to win, that winning means bringing people together. That’s my intent as mayor of this city,” she said.

The mayor also said she decided to remove the monuments as rapidly as she did because her priority was to protect the city, and in this case it meant preventing a repeat of what happened in Charlottesville.

The mayor also said the City has contacted cemeteries and museums around the country as possible options to relocate the monuments.

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Ava-joye Burnett