WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to call in National Guard troops to help combat rioters in the wake of escalating violence throughout the state.
Protests Monday night near Rockefeller Center quickly escalated to violence as rioters smashed windows and looted various stores while upstate an SUV plowed into a group of officers during a demonstration in Buffalo.
In a tweet referencing the high rate of infections and deaths from Covid-19 in the state’s nursing homes, the president, a native New Yorker himself, urged Governor Cuomo to “act fast.”
“The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!” Trump tweeted.
During a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo put the blame solely on the shoulders of the NYPD, who he said failed in their duty to protect the public from looting and other criminal activity and on the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, who he claimed did not take the situation seriously enough.
“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night,” Cuomo said. “I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem.”
During Cuomo’s press briefing the governor also took a swing back at President Trump, who he said was putting undue focus on the riots so that “he doesn’t have to talk about the killing” of George Floyd.
During an address Tuesday, Trump said that he himself will order National Guard troops into New York State if state and local officials refuse to act on the violence. Federal law allows presidents to order such actions, but officials in New York have argued that the president has no authority to do so against the will of local governments.