WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, who made his support for the "Merry Christmas" greeting a part of his campaign, weighed into the ongoing controversy over Columbus Day on Wednesday, slamming some who have eschewed the holiday's namesake.
"To me it will always be called Columbus Day," Trump said during a press conference at the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
"Some people don't like that," he said. "I do."
For many Americans, the second Monday in October is a celebration of Italian heritage and Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage to the Americas. But a growing number of cities, states and universities are abandoning ship and replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, also known as Native Americans Day.
At least eight states, 10 universities and more than 130 cities across 34 states now observe Indigenous Peoples Day as an alternative to the federally recognized Columbus Day, which they say glorifies the mistreatment and colonization of Native Americans.
Mattarella also weighed in Columbus.
"It seems to me that he did a good job back then," Mattarella said.
Contributing: Grace Hauck
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump dismisses criticism of Columbus Day with Italian president