After weeks of speculation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially announced plans to paint "Black lives matter" on 5th Avenue in front of the Trump Tower, prompting a flurry of incendiary tweets from President Donald Trump.

During an MSNBC interview on Wednesday, de Blasio said city officials made the decision because they wanted to emphasize the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement to the president.

"It's an important message to the whole nation and obviously we want the president to hear it because he's never shown respect for those three words," de Blasio said. 

"When he hears 'Black Lives Matter,' he presents a horrible, negative reality of something that doesn't exist and he misses the underlying meaning that we're saying we have to honor the role of African Americans in our history and in our society. … We have to make it come alive today, so we're going to make it really clear to the president. It's going to be right outside his doorstep," he added.

De Blasio said that the city would be painting the mural in a few days.