BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young blasted President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for “flouting [his] executive order” and “exploiting the challenges of [the] City” by using Fort McHenry as the backdrop for Pence’s Republican National Convention speech Wednesday night.

Mayor Young posted the following statement on Twitter:

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“It’s the height of hypocrisy for this self-proclaimed law and order president and vice president to flout my lawful Executive Order, dated August 7, 2020, intended to keep our residents safe during what continues to be a raging pandemic that they have politicized and failed to control. The administration has seized every opportunity to exploit the challenges of our City and fan the flames of the division, never once demonstrating the will or desire to partner with us in rooting out the lingering effects of systemic racism. Instead, they use one of our greatest assets – the historic Fort McHenry National Shrine – as a prompt to continue their distortions of fact, in favor of a fictionalized narrative of what we all know is failed leadership.”

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Vice President Pence returned to Baltimore for one of the most important speeches of his political career—as he made his case for a second term for President Trump.

Pence’s choice of Fort McHenry to make that address has drawn criticism from others, also. The Coalition To Protect America’s National Parks has called it “inappropriate” to use the fort “for political gain.”

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The historic Fort is a favorite backdrop of the Trump Administration. President Trump spoke there on Memorial Day.

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Baltimore has been in the spotlight for the Democrats as well—with now-Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris choosing the city as her campaign headquarters during her presidential run.

CBS Baltimore Staff