ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted fellow New Yorker President Donald Trump over his comments attacking the governor and the state’s attorney general following the agreement to dissolve the president’s foundation.
“At one time when a reporter said, ‘The president said.’ That carried a credibility and a weightiness to it. With this president, I don’t know that it means anything,” Cuomo said Thursday on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom when asked about Trump’s tweets from a day before. “Why does he say what he says? I have no idea. Everything is either bizarre, untrue, illogical or delusional.“
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Cuomo has been a vocal critic of Trump and his policies. Since the governor’s reelection in November to his third term and the successful Democratic campaign to secure full control of the state Legislature, he’s positioned himself as even more of a warrior in the fight against the federal government’s “assault” on New York.
Cuomo and Trump weren’t always at odds — the future president appeared briefly in a video for Cuomo’s bachelor party in 1990. But since the president’s election, and before, the two have clashed on issues including funding for the Gateway tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, gun control laws and immigration.
Trump on Wednesday insinuated that the civil lawsuit that led to the dissolution of the Trump Foundation was politically motivated. The agreement to dissolve the charity settles some aspects of the lawsuit alleging Trump and his children violated campaign finance laws and abused the tax-exempt status of the charity.
"The Trump Foundation has done great work and given away lots of money, both mine and others, to great charities over the years — with me taking NO fees, rent, salaries etc." Trump tweeted. "Now, as usual, I am getting slammed by Cuomo and the Dems in a long running civil lawsuit started by…sleazebag AG Eric Schneiderman, who has since resigned over horrific women abuse, when I wanted to close the Foundation so as not to be in conflict with politics."
Schneiderman, the former New York attorney general, resigned his office earlier this year following a New Yorker article detailing allegations of his abuse of women. The current attorney general, Barbara Underwood, was selected by the state Assembly as a caretaker until a replacement could be elected. A career public servant, she was formerly the solicitor general in Schneiderman’s office.
“The attorney general in New York state is a separate office [from mine]. Barbara Underwood is not a political official, she’s a former solicitor general. It has nothing to do with me whatsoever,” Cuomo said Thursday. “He blames everyone for everything. Look in the mirror. All of this is him and self-inflicted.”
Cuomo went on to attack Trump over his focus on a border wall, which has been a centerpiece of the president’s campaign and a priority in federal budget negotiations. Cuomo said that Democrats support border security but Trump wants a “political icon.”
“If he were just to say, ‘I want border security,’ and we bring in a private professional firm and whatever the security device is, if it’s a camera, if it’s a laser, if it’s a fence, a wall in some places and other places something else. But if it’s done professionally, the Democrats would have to agree,” he said.