Governor Cuomo: President Trump will 'need an army' if he returns to New York City

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

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Cuomo: Trump will 'need an army' if he returns to NYC
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In a scathing statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said from the point of view of NYC, President Donald Trump is the worst president in history amid reports he is threatening to d

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired back for a second straight day at President Donald Trump's order to the federal government to start defunding New York City.

President Trump came out firing Thursday in response to the governor's criticism of his handling of the coronavirus in the country.

"He's been tweeting up a storm," Cuomo said on Thursday, going on to call Trump a bully. "You can't bully New Yorkers. We just don't get bullied. We don't respond well to it."


President 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 $7 billion in federal dollars for New York City goes to fund the following programs and departments:

- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families - $1.3 Billion

- Title I Education - $705 million

- Child Care and Development Block - $499 million

- Section 8 - $437 million

- Medical Assistance Program - $209 million

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.

Cuomo says everything Trump could do in his power to hurt New York City, he has done.

"He can't come back to New York. He can't," said Cuomo during a hastily called teleconference on Wednesday. "He's going to walk down the street in New York? Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he's going to walk down the street in New York.

Cuomo and Trump are both originally from Queens.

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The governor says with President Trump has no chance of winning his native state.

"How much do you want to wager that you will win New York?" said Cuomo, adding that he would take any bet and told the president to put his money where his mouth is. "The people who know him the most, like him the least."

Cuomo pointed out that Trump's administration stopped funding for the Second Avenue 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.

During a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened legal action if the president pursues defunding.

"It makes no sense. By the way, your words don't carry much weight on this topic because the Supreme Court has spoken. The President of United States can't interfere with federal funding for cities and states just because he feels like it. We have laws in this country. So if you persist and trying to deny the funding, we will see you in court. And once again, we will beat you in court," de Blasio said.

Republican Rep. Peter King, who represents New York's 2nd Congressional District, countered that the president wants to make sure Democratic-led cities are not defunding police departments.

"The reality is that legitimate protests turned into riots and violence and the democrats refused to say that until the last two days. It hit them between the eyes before they said anything," King said. "It's important we stand with the police, realize the police are the ones that defend us and defend and protect all lives. As far as the president, what he wants to do, I say, is to make sure the money that goes to the cities is spent properly. We can't be defunding cops, has to spending money the right way, and if president is putting pressure on the mayor and governor to do the right thing, so be it."


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