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California mayor says he will step down after Facebook post comparing Trump supporters to KKK

Posted at 1:10 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 15:10:38-04

The mayor of a small California city says he's stepping down after posting a meme on Facebook that compared President Trump's supporters to the KKK. The mayor also likened Mr. Trump to Adolf Hitler in a comment and suggested "the world would be a much better place" without him.

Auburn Mayor Dr. Bill Kirby shared a meme last week on a Facebook page called "William Kirby, Mayor of Auburn Fan Club." It showed a hooded KKK member under the text, "Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks." Kirby added a one-word comment: "True."

The comment sent off a flurry of furious comments, and Kirby responded to one saying, "I am calm. Just a realist."

If Hitler and everyone who supported him was removed from the face of the earth in 1939 the world would be a much better place today," he added. "The same is more true of Trump and his supporters today."

Kirby said Monday that he'll "hand the gavel" to a councilman later this month following uproar over the posts, according to the Auburn Journal. But he still stood by his comments, and said they came from frustration over the president's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

"Some people have viewed my posts, which were meant to be private and made out of frustration as over the top. Some were and I regret that," Kirby said in a statement to CBS Sacramento.

"I want to share with you where my frustrations have come from," he said. He said that as a doctor, he sees " nurses, respiratory therapists, other medical staff, first responders and my medical colleagues as well as their patients dying unnecessarily due to lack of preparation" for coronavirus. "The president has put us all at risk."

"I believe history will judge those who stood up against damaging policies and ideologies and those that did not," he added.

At the council meeting where Kirby announced his exit, he also said he "absolutely" thinks Mr. Trump is a racist and that the Facebook posts have "nothing to do with my job," the Auburn Journal reported.