This story has been updated.
President Donald Trump said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New Castle called him recently and pledged not to challenge the Republican for President in 2020.
Cuomo denied that he told Trump that he would not challenge him.
"I don't have any personal, political conversations with the President,” Cuomo told Albany reporters.
Trump made the claim in an upstate fundraising appearance on Monday, Aug. 13.
Trump told Republican donors in Utica that Cuomo once called him and promised that he wouldn't run against him.
Trump, who toyed with a run for governor before setting his sights on the White House, claimed Cuomo called him and said: “I will never run for President against you.”
“But maybe he wants to,” Trump said, adding, “Oh, please do it. Please. Please. He did say that. Maybe he meant it. The one thing we know — and they do say — anybody who runs against Trump suffers.”
Cuomo responded via Twitter on Tuesday night. “Donald Trump & the NRA – bankrupt bedfellows: literally and morally. Unlike Trump, I'm not afraid to take on the NRA,” the tweet said.
The governor said he talks to Trump, but that those discussions are only about policy issues.
Cuomo's Democratic Party challenger is Cynthia Nixon, an education activist from Manhattan best known for her acting on "Sex In The City."
On Tuesday, Nixon's senior advisor, Rebecca Katz, released this statement on Cuomo’s conversation with Trump, who also owns property in Westchester and New York City:
“The Governor has some explaining to do. He and Trump have always been unusually close. Cuomo refused to criticize Trump for much of his first year in office , going so far as to say that it was ‘a bonus’ to have a New Yorker in office. To this day, the Governor refuses to return Trump’s $64,000 in donations to his campaign," Katz said.
“Cuomo’s entire campaign message is that he is New York’s best rebuttal to Donald Trump. So New Yorkers deserve some answers," Katz said. "Why would Cuomo promise Trump he wasn’t running against him? What other concessions did the Governor make to our repugnant President? And what did Donald Trump get in return for his $64,000 from our famously transactional governor?”
According to this article in the Daily News, Trump and Cuomo share a tremendous number of common donors.
But Cuomo, in a March 17, 2016, article in the New York Observer, insisted he doesn’t plan to give back a penny of the $64,000 in political contributions he has taken from Donald Trump and his family over the course of his political career.
Speaking after an unrelated press event at his Midtown Manhattan office, Cuomo scoffed at the notion he should refund the money from a Republican that he has repeatedly assailed in his speeches.
"Why should I give the money back?" Cuomo, a Queens native like Trump, told the Observer. "I don’t plan to vote for him, that’s my remedy to that situation."
The New York Times, meanwhile, reported in this July 17, 2017 article that as other Democrats bashed Trump, Cuomo took a different approach. Cuomo began dancing around invoking Trump’s name on his own political campaign stump, the Times reported, skirting attacks in print and sidestepping news reporters’ frequent questions about the president.
Meanwhile, the governor from Westchester also declined to weigh in on a controversy regarding U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's criticism of former President Bill Clinton and her call for Trump to resign about similar sexual harassment allegations, as reported here by Daily Voice.
Later, while Democrats and many Republicans openly criticized Westchester resident Preet Bharara’s firing as U.S. Attorney in New York, as reported here by Daily Voice, Cuomo initially said he knew nothing about it.According to this article in The Buffalo News, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wasn’t really aware of the controversy surrounding the firing of Preet Bharara as U.S. Attorney and therefore had no comment.
“I didn’t follow the situation. There’s a transition from one administration to the next, but beyond that I haven’t followed it,’’ Cuomo said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.