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Andrew Cuomo attacks President Trump: 'Better have an army if he thinks he's gonna walk down the street in New York'; Trump retaliates


Was that a threat?

BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo told President Donald Trump to stay away from New York City because "people don't want to have anything to do with him."

On Wednesday, Cuomo lashed out at the president after Trump announced he would look into slashing federal funds to New York City and other cities experiencing recent crime surges.

"He better have an army if he thinks he's gonna walk down the street in New York," Cuomo warned Trump. "New Yorkers don't want to have anything to do with him."

"He can't have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City, people don't want to have anything to do with him," Cuomo said in a press briefing on Wednesday night, as reported in the New York Post.

Of Trump's review into federal funding of New York City, Cuomo said, "It is more of the same from him. It's political, it is gratuitous. And it's illegal. But it is another attempt to kill New York City."

"President Trump has actively been trying to kill New York City ever since he's been elected," Cuomo said.

"I think it's because he is from New York City and New York City rejected him, always. He was dismissed as a clown in New York City; those who know him best, 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 continued to jab the president by saying, "Nobody took him seriously and he was just a tabloid cartoon."

At the end of the call, Cuomo seemed to attempt to walk back his remarks to President Trump that could be construed as threats.

"My comment about the president and bodyguards in New York City, all I'm saying is that he is persona non grata in New York City," Cuomo said. "And I think he knows that. And he'll never come back to New York, because New Yorkers will never forget how gratuitously mean he has been to New Yorkers and how many times he's tried to kill the city that gave him his start and birthed him. That's what I meant about the bodyguards."

Both men are natives of the Queens borough of New York City.

On Thursday morning, President Trump reacted to Cuomo's comments by going on the offensive about the New York governor's handling of the coronavirus.

"Governors [sic] Andrew Cuomo of New York has the worst record on death and China Virus," the president said. "11,000 people alone died in Nursing Homes because of his incompetence!"

"@NYGovCuomo should get his puppet New York prosecutors, who have been illegally after me and my family for years, to investigate his incompetent handling of the China Virus, and all of the deaths caused by this incompetence," Trump tweeted. "It is at minimum a Nursing Home Scandal - 11,000 DEAD!"

Trump was referring to the directive Cuomo issued on March 25, requiring nursing home facilities to accept patients who were positive for COVID-19. Last month, an Associated Press report stated that the number of coronavirus deaths in New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities "could actually be a significant undercount."

Trump also called for the firing of Cuomo's younger brother, Chris Cuomo.

"Will Fredo be fired by Fake News @CNN? He speaks with great disrespect about women, and it will only get worse," Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "Fredo's Ratings are bad, so this is the time. Always terrible to speak to sleazebags, especially when you are being recorded. CNN has no choice, Fredo must go!"

Trump was referring to apparent leaked audio of CNN host Chris Cuomo discussing alleged sexual harassment claims made against him during an alleged conversation with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Wednesday night's personal attack on the president by Andrew Cuomo was spurred by Trump's call for a review of all federal funds provided to cities that he deemed to be "anarchist jurisdictions;" which include Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, New York City, and Portland, Oregon.

"My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones," the presidential memo said. "To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government's promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America's cities."

The memo cited the decision in June to disband the NYPD's plainclothes anti-crime units and added, "Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council agreed to cut one billion dollars from the New York Police Department (NYPD) budget, including by cancelling the hiring of 1,163 officers."

"Likewise, in New York City, city officials have allowed violence to spike," the memo continued. "In late May and early June, State and local officials allowed looting to take place for over a week, resulting in damage to an estimated 450 businesses."

"As of August 16, there have been 896 shootings in New York this year, compared to 492 shootings during the same period last year," the president's memo stated. "The shooting victims include children as young as 1 year old. Shootings have been rising in recent weeks, and police reported 244 shootings last month compared to 88 in July 2019 — a 177 percent increase."

The memo added that in a "28-day period during the months of June and July, arrests were down 62 percent from the same period in 2019."

"In light of this unconscionable rise in violence, I have offered to provide Federal law enforcement assistance, but both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have rejected my offer," Trump wrote in the memo.

On Wednesday night, Trump wrote on Twitter: "My 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. We're putting them on notice today."

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