ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – New York’s Governor 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’s Attorney General William Barr says 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.
Governor Cuomo says 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 says 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.
Cuomo says 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, then 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”.