Cuomo says Trump inciting Orthodox Jews against him, cites robocall and tweet

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, October 9, 2020
Governor Cuomo responds to robo call targeting him
The robo call targeted Governor Cuomo and asked people in the Orthodox community to make flags against him.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo played a robocall during his daily teleconference that was put out by a protest organizer in the Orthodox Jewish community.

"I also believe his campaign (Trump's) is fomenting the ultra-orthodox in Brooklyn. Well, that's wild speculation by the governor. No. I don't do wild speculation. Let me play you a recording of a call that went out. Ok?" Cuomo said.

"We are in touch with the Trump campaign. They are urging everyone to come out with signs 'Cuomo killed thousands.' Come to 13th Avenue and hold big signs 'Cuomo killed thousands' as many as possible, as big as possible. The more signs we have the bigger the national outcry will be," the robocall said.

The governor also read a tweet from organizer Heshy Tischer saying, "Urgent: Who can print 'Cuomo hates Jews.' 'Cuomo killed thousands' on flags.

"How ugly, how divisive, how poisonous, how disgusting. How hurtful. How painful," Cuomo said. "This is New York, we just showed solidarity unity that was unprecedented. For seven months I've been saying, listen to our better angels. Let's act in commonality. The antidote of community spread is community, caring for one another. Here the Trump campaign wants to inflame divisions. Meanwhile, they are putting people's lives at risk. 20% of the cases coming from these districts. 20% from 2.8%. some of those people will die. What is the Trump campaign saying, play politics. Play politics. It's disgusting."

RELATED: Restrictions go into place in New York's COVID red zones

When asked about the protests in Borough Park and enforcement, the governor said, "My position is simple but uniform. Peaceful protest is peaceful protest. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior. Prosecute criminal behavior. NYPD, arrest people who are in the midst of criminal behavior. District attorney, prosecute person for criminal behavior. The law is the law and there is no provision for discretion where a person is clearly violating the law and you decide, well because of the political circumstances I'm not going to enforce the law. The law does not recognize political circumstances. There is no provision for that in the law. Peaceful protests by the Hasidic community, fine. You are beating a journalist? Criminal behavior. The person should be arrested. How did we come to a situation where we allow people to be beaten? And for a DA, you had no discretion to play your politics to dismiss a clear legal violation."

The journalist referenced by Governor Cuomo, Jacob Kornbluh of the Jewish Insider, commented Friday on his attack.

"Even though I came under immense criticism and as you clearly saw from the video circulating, I actually paid a price the other night. I'm still undeterred and I'm still moving forward in order to inform everyone about the data, about the health crisis, and also urging people to follow them," he said.

"All I can say is the investigation is ongoing and the NYPD and district attorney's office is looking into identifying those who assaulted me and also, in Mr. Tischler's involvement in inciting the crowd and directing them at me. I hope this investigation will come to a clear conclusion that will send a message that anybody, regardless if you are a reporter, a member of the community, or any individual, that human life is precious to all of us and no one should feel unsafe walking on the streets of New York City," Kornbluh added.

Governor Cuomo said that in the COVID red zones in the state the positivity rate is at 5.4%. In the rest of the state, excluding the oversampling in red zones, it's 0.9%. Combined, the state has a 1.1% positivity rate.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New York City news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube