Andrew Cuomo plans to talk to Trump like a New Yorker in coronavirus summit
Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the key to navigating his contentious relationship with President Trump ahead of their coronavirus summit Tuesday at the White House: simple New York bluntness.
“Everything is a fine line,” Cuomo said during a press briefing at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. “I’ll tell you how I negotiate the fine line: You tell the truth.
“You can try to figure it out or, you know what, heck with it, just tell the truth. Whatever it is, it is.”
The governor offered the insight hours before his 3 p.m. huddle with Trump in Washington DC — and said that he’d come to expect the same level of frankness from his fellow Big Apple native.
“I said that to the president from day one. And, by the way, he’s done the same vis-à-vis me,” said Cuomo. “He has no problem telling me when he disagrees, and he tells me when he agrees.”
The leaders have done plenty of both throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Last month, Cuomo accused Trump and the feds of dooming tens of thousands of New Yorkers to death through their lagging response on ventilators — only to thank the president the next day for his “cooperation.”
Last week, Trump accused Cuomo and other Democratic governors of staging a “mutiny” with regard to re-opening states, a jab that Cuomo said was the president’s “spoiling for a fight.”
And Friday, Trump trolled Cuomo via tweet in the middle of one of the governor’s press conference — but Sunday played during one of his own briefings a video clip of Cuomo praising him.
Cuomo said Tuesday that he expects the pair’s White House sit-down to center around coronavirus testing, seen as the next big step towards restarting the economy.
The governor has beseeched Trump for more help from the feds to get the job done — but acknowledged that the president is in a “thankless” position.
“Look, it’s a situation that is very difficult. And a situation where, however you do it, it’s going to be a blame game,” he said. “This is one of those thankless tasks. Trust me. It is one of those tasks where when you get to the end of it, everybody is going to be able to say, ‘You didn’t do enough.’
“I get the instinct to distance yourself from it,” continued Cuomo. “But it is a situation where you need everybody to work together.”
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