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Cuomo Says Trump 'Dismissed As Clown' In NYC, As Two Spar Over Defunding Threat

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley

The war of words between New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump’s administration has reached a fever pitch after Trump threatened to defund New York City.

Trump said he want to pull federal funding from New York City and other major metropolises as part of an effort to target “anarchist jurisdictions,” prompting Cuomo to warn that the president “better have an army” if he plans to follow through on that action before returning to his home state.

“He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City,” Cuomo said. “Forget bodyguards, he'd better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the streets in New York."

According to the New York Post, Trump issued a five-page memo ordering a review of federal funds that can be redirected from New York City and other cities, prompting an impromptu conference from Cuomo, who took more shots at the president.

"As far as this statement he's going to stop funding for New York City, he is not a king," Cuomo said. "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.

"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."

“I think it’s because he is from New York City and New York City rejected him, always,” Cuomo continued. “He was dismissed as a clown in New York City, those who know him best, like him least.”

Cuomo reiterated that the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, which has seen the most virus-related deaths, was the fault of the federal government, noting again that what Trump dubbed the “China virus” on Twitter “ambushed” New York when it came from travelers coming to New York from Europe.

“He is persona non grata in New York City," Cuomo added, "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.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also commented following the president’s threats, saying that “while (Trump) spent this year hiding from COVID-19 New York City led the fight back.

“Now we’re trying to recover and he’s making unconstitutional, political threats against us. Mr. President, we’ll see you in court. We’ve beaten you there before and we’ll do it again.”

Following Cuomo’s teleconference, Trump fired back over the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing the number of nursing home deaths in a storm of tweets.

“Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York has the worst record on death and China Virus. 11,000 people alone died in Nursing Homes because of his incompetence!” he posted.

“(Cuomo) 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. It is at minimum a Nursing Home Scandal - 11,000 DEAD!”

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