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January 19, 2017

Kenney questions Trump's Cabinet picks, says Clinton 'spent too much time in Philadelphia'

Politics Jim Kenney
12232015_jim_kenney Matt Rourke, File/AP

“I get emotional all of the time, I’m always crying about something. But my parents being there is very special for me. I’m very, very happy and thankful that they are still alive to see this," Jim Kenney says of his election and inauguration as mayor. "My mom was 19 when I was born. She’s 75 now. My father is 80 and will be 81 in July. To have them both is very special."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney slammed some of President-elect Donald Trump's top Cabinet picks days before the inauguration and said he'd rather have George W. Bush back as president in a recent interview.

"I’d take George W. back in a minute," Kenney said in an interview with Politico Tuesday. "If it was Bush, Reagan, Romney, McCain, you’d kind of know what to get ready for. I don’t know what to get ready for."

RELATED STORY: After a year in mayor's office, Kenney chats soda tax, Trump and Philly sports

Kenney, who is in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said that the incoming administration is unpredictable. He also slammed Dr. Ben Carson, who's in the running for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as well as Jeff Sessions, who is being considered for U.S. attorney general.

Kenney has concerns over Carson's lack of government experience, while he fears that Sessions will worsen police-community relations. 

"If Ferguson happens or if Baltimore happens, it bubbles up in Philadelphia, even though we may be improving and reforming," Kenney told Politico.

Kenney also criticized the Hillary Clinton campaign for her countless visits to Philadelphia during election season, saying that she "spent too much time" in the mostly Democratic city and that she should have campaigned in battleground states like Wisconsin or areas like western Pennsylvania.

Kenney hasn't kept quiet about his lack of support for Trump. The mayor called the president-elect a "nincompoop" in September when Trump slammed Philadelphia after a campaign visit.

The mayor has also signed two open letters in the recent past directed toward federal officials, one urging Trump to "find common ground" in fighting climate change and the other to President Barack Obama asking him to continue policies protecting immigration. 

Kenney has also said that Philadelphia will remain a sanctuary city, which means the city won't prosecute undocumented individuals, despite Trump's threats to cut funding to those cities.