Murphy slams Trump for threatening to cut funding to New York City amid racial justice unrest

Posted Sep 03, 2020

By Brent Johnson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

 

 

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of stoking division by threatening to cut federal funding to New York and other cities that the president says have permitted “anarchy, violence, and destruction” amid unrest over racial injustice.

Trump sent a memo this week asking the U.S. attorney general and the federal Office of Budget management to consider slashing funding to New York City, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The Republican president blamed Democratic leaders in those cities for not quelling the discord.

“My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” Trump wrote in the memo.

During an appearance Thursday afternoon on MSNBC, Murphy, a Democrat, was asked what he thought about the threat and whether he’s worried it will hurt people in northern New Jersey, many of whom work in New York.

The governor did not call out Trump by name but said “when you’re dealing with a pandemic, an all-time economic crisis, and, at long last, a reckoning with the stain of racism and social justice, the last thing we need is leadership at the highest levels of our country to be dividing us.”

“This is a time we have to find the right rhetoric and the right actions that bring us together,” Murphy said on “Meet the Press Daily.”

The governor stressed that he’s “not excusing” rioting or violence.

“If there are criminal elements that are taking advantage of this period in our nation’s history, they need to be found and prosecuted and dealt with,” Murphy said. “There’s no question about that.”

“But painting this with a broad brush, at a time when we need to come together ... America is overwhelmingly crying out for help with the pandemic, help with unemployment and the economic crisis, and a reckoning with the stain of racism,” he added. “We need leadership that brings us together and does not try to separate us right now.”

Trump tweeted Wednesday night that his administration “will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses.”

“We’re putting them on notice today,” he added.

There have been a wave of protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, as well as other incidents involving police force against Black men and women. Many protests have been peaceful, but some have included rioting and violence.

Many Democrats — including former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent in the November presidential election — have accused Trump of ignoring systemic racism in law enforcement and instead focusing his attention on the riots.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed Trump’s funding threat as an “illegal stunt.”

“President Trump has actively sought to punish NYC since day one. He let COVID ambush New York. He refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover. He is not a king. He cannot ’defund‘ NYC,” Cuomo, a Democrat, tweeted Wednesday night.

 

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment