Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo branded former President Donald Trump a “bully” and slammed him for the threatening social media posts he issued ahead of his indictment in a speech at a Harlem church Sunday.
Cuomo — who resigned as New York governor in August 2021 while facing a slew of sexual misconduct claims he denied — ripped Trump, 76, for attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and turning the case into a divisive spectacle.
“Donald Trump is out there. He’s waving a baseball bat. He’s threatening death and destruction,” Cuomo said in his eight minute Palm Sunday speech before predominately black congregants at Mt. Neboh Baptist Church.
Cuomo, 65, was referencing posts Trump made on Truth Social last month in which he threatened “death and destruction” over Bragg’s investigation and posted an image of himself holding a baseball bat near the head of the DA, who is black.
“He’s like a character from the old south. He thinks he’s Bull Connor. Your first name is bull. Your last name is not Connor,” the Democrat said of Trump, referring to Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor, an Alabama politician who opposed the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Cuomo avoided touching on the merits of the indictment against Trump, which was handed up by a grand jury last week and which is said to center around a “hush money” payout made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
The ex-governor seemed to be changing his tune from just a week ago, when he criticized Bragg’s then-looming indictment of Trump.
“You have a cynical public, they don’t believe anyone and when you start to see these prosecutors bring political cases, it just affirms everybody’s cynicism,” Cuomo told John Catsimatidis on WABC 770’S “The Cats Roundtable.”
“It’s a coincidence that Bragg goes after Trump and Tish James goes after Trump and Georgia goes after Trump. That’s all a coincidence,” Cuomo scoffed, referring to NY Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of the Trump Organization and the District Attorney of Fulton County’s probe into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“It feeds the cynicism and that’s the cancer in our body politic right now,” he added.
On Sunday, Cuomo, who publicly sparred with Trump during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, at times sounded like he was settling old scores.
“Do you remember when he tried to turn this nation against us during COVID and make New York the enemy of the nation? He’s nothing but a bully and there’s only one way to deal with a bully: you face them eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe.”
“Mr. Trump, you attacked my brother, you attacked my sister, you attacked me.. So, you bring your hate and division and we will bring love and unity … we are strong in the lord and in the strength of the almighty,” he said.
Trump has mocked former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, calling him “Fredo” — a reference to Fredo Corleone, the ineffectual middle son character in the classic “The Godfather” film.
Andrew Cuomo continued, “Mr. Trump, if you think you are going to divide us, or threaten us with your January 6 type thuggery, your tribalism, don’t even think about it because you don’t know where you are and you don’t know who we are. Because this is New York and we are New Yorkers and we are New York tough. We have faced bullies before and we beat them back.”
One New York Republican Party insider said Cuomo has a point with one aspect of his criticism of Trump.
Privately, many Republicans are chafing at Trump’s inflammatory “death and destruction” line inciting violence because it hurts Republicans with suburban voters.
“That’s not the way to win the suburbs. That hurts us,” the GOP vet, who requested anonymity, said.
Cuomo, who approved New York’s controversial cashless bail law in 2019, also discussed the need to bolster public safety and boost education for minority students.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, his successor and former lieutenant governor, is pushing to to tweak the law to give judges more discretion to impose bail and detain defendants.
She’s also proposed to lift the cap to open more charter schools to open in New York City, something Cuomo supported as governor.
Cuomo did not specifically mention either issue by name but seemed to allude to both.
“I hear the extremists say, `defund the police.’ These might be the 3 dumbest words in politics,” the ex-three term governor said.
He rattled off statistics, saying 73% of rape victims are people of color, 72% of robbery victims are minorities, as are 80% of assault victims.
He also complained about allowing “failing schools to continue year after” in poor, mostly minority communities.
While ripping into Trump, Cuomo praised Mayor Eric Adams as a common sense politician in sync with the Democratic Party and his constituents.
“Mayor Adams is right. We need the Democratic Party to remember who it represents and what the philosophy of progressivism really means,” he said, adding “we don’t need those woke socialist elitists” ignoring problems such as crime.
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