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Cuomo calls Trump's DOJ attempt to withhold funds 'more of the same'

Office of the Governor

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dismissing as “political” President Donald Trump’s Justice Department move to classify New York City, Seattle and Portland as “anarchy” jurisdictions and withhold billions of dollars in federal funds.  

Trump Attorney General William Barr said state and local leaders in New York, Washington State and Oregon impeded local law enforcement from doing their jobs during weeks of civil rights protests in the three cities this year. Elected officials in New York, Seattle and Portland have all opposed federal intervention in the protests.

Cuomo said it’s another attempt by Trump to “manipulate and distort government agencies to play politics” to further the President’s re election efforts.

“This is more of the same,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters.

Cuomo said the Trump Administration tried once before to block funding to cities, including New York, which had declared themselves sanctuary cities for immigrants. The attempt failed after New York and others successfully filed a lawsuit.

He said under the U.S. Constitution, the states, not the federal government, have control over police units. The governor predicts that if the President and his Attorney General follow through on their threats, New York will go to court, and win, again.

“If they actually do this, we will challenge it legally and he will lose once again,” Cuomo said.

Later, in answer to a reporter’s question, Cuomo said Trump is a “political opportunist” who moved his legal residence from New York to Florida because he was rejected by New York “personally and professionally.”

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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