Trump threatens to defund New York City; Cuomo fires back

President Donald Trump ordered the the federal government to begin the process of defunding New York City, Washington DC, Seattle and Portland claiming officials allowed "lawless" protests

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Mayor, governor fire back after Trump threatens to defund NYC
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Candace McCowan reports on the war of words from Trump Tower.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is slamming President Donald Trump after he ordered the federal government to start defunding New York City.

In a scathing statement Wednesday night, Cuomo said from the point of view of NYC, President Donald Trump is the worst president in history amid his threats to defund the city.

President Donald Trump ordered the federal government to begin the process of defunding New York City, Washington DC, Seattle and Portland claiming officials allowed "lawless" protests.

The president said his administration "will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses."

The five-page memo obtained by ABC News orders all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget that lay out funds that can be redirected.

"I think it's because he is from New York City and New York City rejected him always," Cuomo said. "He was dismissed as a clown in New York City."

The New York governor said those who know Trump best are the ones who like him least.

"Look, the best thing he did for New York City was leave," Cuomo said. "Good riddance, let him go to Florida, be careful not to get COVID."

Cuomo says everything Trump could do in his power to hurt NYC he has done.

The governor pointed out that Trump's administration stopped funding for the Second Ave subway after both Democrats and Republicans funded it. He also stripped funding for the Air Train from LaGuardia to NYC.

"As far as this statement he's going to stop funding for New York City, he is not a king, he thinks he's a king but he's not, he's a president and there is a constitution and there are laws, nothing that he knows anything about but the federal budget is appropriated by law with conditions of funding by law," Cuomo said. "The statutes contain the funding conditions and he can't override the law. I suspect it's more of a political statement that he's making than anything else."

Cuomo said what the president is talking about is also illegal.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio also did not hold back against the president:

"While @realDonaldTrump spent this year hiding from COVID-19, New York City led the fight back. Now we're trying to recover and he's making unconstitutional, political threats against us. Mr. President, we'll see you in court. We've beaten you there before and we'll do it again."

De Blasio's spokesman also released a statement on Twitter saying this will never stand:

"As much as Donald Trump wants New York City to drop dead, we will never let this stand. This has nothing to do with 'law and order.' This is a racist campaign stunt out of the Oval Office to attack millions of people of color."

Cuomo also slammed Trump's handling of the COVID pandemic and said he is the cause of coronavirus in New York.

"It is his negligence that brought it here and his arrogance that he won't provide state and local funding to help states and cities recover from the pandemic that his negligence caused," Cuomo said.

When Cuomo was asked what would happen if the federal funding goes away, he said that NYC receives roughly $7 billion a year in federal aid for housing, medical, health and homeland security funding.

Thursday morning, President Trump fired back at the governor's handling of the coronavirus in his state.


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