- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Wednesday that President Trump’s concerns about skyrocketing violence in New York City were “well-founded,” though he rejected the president’s proposal to send federal law enforcement officers into the city.

The Democratic governor told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell he spoke to Mr. Trump on Tuesday after the president said he was considering sending hundreds of federal law enforcement officers into major cities to combat rising crime.

“I said to the president that I understand the issues in New York City,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And there are issues in New York City, as there are in many cities across the country. And if there was a need, the state would step in, which is the normal protocol, governmental protocol. And I was ready, willing and able to step in. But I think the federal involvement — there’s no justification for it, and it would be counter-productive. And the president said we would talk before he did anything.

“Look, the president’s concerns about New York City were well-founded,” he continued. “There are issues in New York City. You put COVID on top of the unrest after the George Floyd murder, etcetera, there’s been an increase in crime. So I get the concerns, but I don’t believe federal troops are the answer.”

Mr. Cuomo’s comments came just before Mr. Trump announced he was expanding Operation Legend, a federal law enforcement operation in Kansas City, to include cities rocked by racial unrest like Chicago.

New York City was not on the list that also included Albuquerque, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Mr. Cuomo said the people of New York City are “concerned about the increasing crime,” but that federal involvement would be a step a step too far.

“I am concerned. We are working with the city,” the governor said, the Times Union reported. “The state is willing and able to do what it needs to do; it falls within the jurisdiction of the state. The city is a creature of state law and the state understands and respects the Constitution of the United States. We have no need at this time for any assistance from the federal government.”

Mr. Cuomo stopped short of acknowledging that crime is spiking across the state, including in Albany, Rochester and Syracuse, the Times Union reported.

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