Politics & Policy

Cuomo Claims Trump ‘Better Have an Army’ if He Comes to NYC after White House Looks Into Cutting Funding to ‘Anarchist’ Cities

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks inside of the New York Stock Exchange after reopening amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York, N.Y., May 26, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned Wednesday that President Trump had “better have an army” to ensure his safety if he visits New York City following reports that Trump is weighing pulling federal funding from “anarchist jurisdictions” including New York.

Trump released a memo on Wednesday ordering all federal agencies to provide evaluations to the White House Office of Management and Budget outlining which federal funds could be rerouted from “lawless” cities that “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures.” The president singled out New York in particular and also mentioned Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Portland as potential targets of the move to withhold funding.

“It’s cheap, it’s political, it’s gratuitous, and it’s illegal,” Cuomo said at an emergency press briefing called to address Trump’s order.

“He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City,” the Democratic governor said. “Forget bodyguards. He better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the street in New York. New Yorkers don’t want to have anything to do with him.” 

After riots broke out following the police custody death of George Floyd in May, New York City’s murder rate shot up 59 percent in July compared to last year, and shootings spiked 177 percent. Meanwhile, the City Council agreed in July to cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget.

“To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities,” Trump’s memo states.

“In light of this unconscionable rise in violence, I have offered to provide Federal law enforcement assistance, but both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have rejected my offer,” Trump says in the memo.

New York City receives about $7 billion a year in federal funding.

“From the point of view of New York City, [Trump] has been the worst president,” Cuomo said. “President Ford said drop dead. President Trump has been actively trying to kill New York City ever since he was elected.”

A senior advisor to Cuomo afterwards clarified the governor’s threatening remarks, saying that what Cuomo mean is that Trump is “persona non grata after everything he did to his now abandoned home town.”

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