New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said President Trump won’t be sending federal troops into New York City but warned Mayor Bill de Blasio to get a handle on crime, homelessness and graffiti.
At his daily briefing Thursday, the Governor said – as the Mayor had yesterday — he would certainly sue if the president followed through on what he called a “blatantly unconstitutional” threat to send a show of force to the Big Apple. But a lawsuit is slow. Instead, “The President and I had a good conversation. He said he would not be sending troops into New York City. He did not say, ‘period, ad infinitum,’ but that he would talk to me before he did anything.”
President Trump has sent troops to Portland, Oregon and threatened earlier to deploy more to other U.S. cities including New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago in a crackdown on anti-racism protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing by policemen in Minneapolis in May. Oregon has sued, so has the ACLU.
“If they sent in federal agents it would be inflammatory. It would be pouring gasoline on fire and that’s the last thing we need… The president said he heard me. He said he wouldn’t do it. He said we’d talk if anything changes,” said Cuomo. “I am going to hold the President to his word.”
He said the only two justifications for federal troops would be to protect federal property or in a public safety emergency that’s endangering lives and “I don’t believe those situations exist.”
“In the meantime, New York City must focus on quality of life,” he added, noting a surge in crime, homelessness and graffiti that comes at a delicate time as many people left the city because of the pandemic and will need to be lured back.
“Get the graffiti off the buildings. I’m telling the Mayor that cleaning up the city is important … detergent, power washing.”
Cuomo takes frequent public potshots at de Blasio. At his own appearance earlier in the day, the Mayor said the comments don’t impede key day-to-day work where the city and state are in constant contact across both administrations.
Cuomo also continued to slam young adults for flouting social distancing guidelines and confirmed tighter rules requiring bars and restaurants to serve food with alcohol, beyond the suddenly ubiquitous $1 bags of potato chips — dubbed “Cuomo chips.”
“There is nothing wrong with Cuomo chips but they do not suffice,” he said. “A bar serving food … has to have food available, like soups and sandwiches.”
New York City entered Phase 4 this week, allowing for film and television production to ramp up.
The coronavirus in the city and state are well under control but, Cuomo constantly notes, the turnaround is threatened by a COVID-19 spike around the country. California just passed New York in the number of cases. Once an epicenter of the global pandemic, New York now has travel advisories against 31 states requiring forms be filled out at the airport and subsequent quarantine.
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