Cuomo Fires Back At Trump: ‘He Better Have An Army’ If He Visits NYC

ALBANY, NEW YORK - APRIL 7, 2020:New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (D) speaking at a press Conference at the State Capitol.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) speaking at a press Conference at the State Capitol in Albany on April 7, 2020. (Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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September 3, 2020 8:43 a.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday night issued a fiery rebuke of President Donald Trump’s move to cut federal funding from New York City and other Democrat-run cities.

“He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City,” Cuomo said during a press call, according to Politico. “Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the streets in New York.”

When TPM asked Cuomo’s press office if the governor was threatening physical violence against Trump, Cuomo spokesperson Jonathan Sterne highlighted the governor’s clarification in the call in which he told reporters, “My comment about the President’s bodyguards in New York City, all I’m saying is that he is persona non grata in New York City, 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 has tried to kill the city that gave him his start and that birthed him,” Cuomo said. “That’s what I meant.”

The New York governor brushed off Trump’s threat to slash funding from NYC, asserting that it’s “more of a political statement than anything else.”

“He thinks he’s a king but he’s not, he’s a president,” Cuomo told reporters. “And there is a Constitution and there are laws–nothing that he knows anything about–but the federal budget is appropriated by law.”

The governor’s acidic response to the President’s latest attack didn’t stop there; he also mocked how “those that know [Trump] best like him least.”

“That’s true about New York City, that’s true about his own family,” Cuomo said.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Trump issued a memo ordering federal agencies to review funding policies for NYC, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., to potentially yank the funds for allegedly “failing to enforce the law, disempowering and significantly defunding their police departments, and refusing to accept offers of federal law enforcement assistance.”

Trump attacked Cuomo via Twitter on Thursday morning, claiming the governor “has the worst record on death and China Virus,” the President’s racist term for COVID-19. It’s unclear whether the tweet was a response to Cuomo’s comments the night before.

Correction: This post originally misattributed a quote from Cuomo to Trump. We regret the error.

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