New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s war of words with President Donald Trump came to a head when Cuomo accused Trump of inciting division and violence at protests over COVID-19 restrictions placed on some Orthodox Jewish communities.
Last week, Cuomo announced that some clusters in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and on Long Island - largely in Orthodox communities - would be shutting down parts of the economy due to spikes in new COVID-19 cases.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Unrest Breaks Out In Parts Of NY Cluster Areas Amid Protests Of Restrictions
In response to the new restrictions, some broke out in violent protests, refusing to adhere to state COVID-19 mandates, which Cuomo said was at the behest of a robocall at the direction of Trump.
The robocall, which was played at a recent briefing held by Cuomo, features an unknown caller who alleges that he was in touch with the Trump campaign and that protesters should bring signs targeting the governor during demonstrations and protests.
"Come to 13th Avenue and hold big signs – 'Cuomo killed thousands' — as many as possible, as big as possible," the caller states. "The Trump campaign is urging us to hold as many and as big signs as possible. Please send this message around. Make it go viral.”
Trump has also shared a tweet calling New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “an anti-Semite thug,” and appeared to compare NYPD intervention at Jewish gatherings to historical anti-Semitic regimes.
Trump’s office has denied any involvement in the robocall. Cuomo was critical of the call, saying that it was an example of Trump “fomenting the ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn.”
“He is exploiting division,” the governor added. “There is no question that the President of the United States is a divisive force and has been from the day of his election.
“How ugly, how divisive, how poisonous, how disgusting. How hurtful. How painful," Cuomo continued. "This is New York, we just showed solidarity unity that was unprecedented.
“For seven months I've been saying, listen to our better angels. Let's act in commonality. The antidote of community spread is community, caring for one another. Here the Trump campaign wants to inflame divisions.”
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