‘Is that a threat?’ Gov. Cuomo says Trump ‘better have an army’ to protect him if he comes to New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a veiled threat toward President Donald Trump after he vowed to pull federal funding from cities “permitting anarchy,” saying the POTUS would need an “army” to safely walk the streets of NYC.
Cuomo called an emergency press briefing on Wednesday night to denounce a White House directive issued earlier in the day, which ordered a review of “the use of federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America's cities.” The governor followed up a seven-minute tirade against Trump with what appeared to be a threat of violence.
“He can't have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City,” Cuomo told reporters. “Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he's going to walk down the streets in New York. New Yorkers don’t want to have anything to do with him.”
As far as this statement he's going to stop funding for New York City – he's not a king. He thinks he's a king but he's not. He's a president.
Apparently realizing his comments could be taken as threatening, Cuomo attempted to walk them back near the end of the presser, adding “all I’m saying is that he is persona non grata in New York City… That’s what I meant about the bodyguards.”
The genie was already out of the bottle, however, as critics slammed the governor for effectively inviting a “civil war.”
“Governor Cuomo, the city you swore to protect is becoming a war zone under your watch,”wrote author and activist Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was slain in the mass shooting at Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. “If [President Trump] needs an army to protect him in NYC… Just give us the time and date. We’re on the next flight.”
Retired New York police officer John Cardillo shot back that Trump already does have such an ‘army’ – “it’s called the NYPD” – while others tagged the FBI, Secret Service and DOJ, suggesting they “have a talk” with the governor.
Netizens also poked fun at Cuomo’s remarks about Covid-19 during the presser, where he repeatedly blamed Trump for New York City’s outbreak – one of the most severe in the nation to date – ignoring the role his own policies played, namely his directive forcing nursing homes to take in Covid-positive patients.
Trump’s order to defund cities permitting unrest and rioting – which singled out New York City, Portland, Seattle and Washington, DC by name – comes after months of chaotic protests across the country over police brutality and systemic racism. The White House, however, argues that cities pursuing “reckless policies” were derelict in their duty to “protect life, liberty, and property,” saying it would “not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”
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