New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said President Trump wants to make the protests over George Floyd’s death a “reality TV show of God and country.”
“The president wants to make it a reality TV show of God and country,” Cuomo said in an interview with CNN’s OutFront. “Call out the military and then I go to church and hold up a Bible. We understand who he’s trying to appeal to and the base he’s trying to rally with the military and believe of God and I hold the Bible, but that is not what is happening in this country today.”
The Democratic Governor also ripped into the president promise to mobilize the use U.S. military around the country to deal with civil disorder that has erupted in chaos over the death of George Floyd’s death in the hands of police custody.
“What the president did today was he called out the American military against American citizens,” Cuomo said. That’s what they did. They used the American military to push back a peaceful protest just so he could have a photo op of walking to a church.”
“When was the last time you saw the American military against American? Is that Americana, is that making America great, I don’t think so,” he added. “I’ve seen a lot of things, but I was shocked at what they did. I was shocked at the force they used to move the protesters who could not have been more peaceful. It was just for a photo opportunity, it is amazing calling out the American military for a photo opportunity. That what it was. It was really truly shameful.”
Cuomo announced an 11 pm ET citywide curfew starting Monday night, along with calling for double NYPD presence to help prevent violence and property damage — specifically in areas where previous unrest occurred over the last few days in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. He pushed back on Trump’s intention to deploy the military, saying “no thank you.”
“I say thank you, but no thank you,” Cuomo said. “The president wants to recreate reality here.”
Following remarks where the president vowed to mobilize the military in response to the protests over Floyd’s death across the country, Trump left the White House to “pay my respects to a very, very special place.” He walked across the street to visit St. John Church that suffered fire damage caused by rioters during Sunday protest.
Cuomo condemned Trump for visiting St. John’s Church after his Rose Garden remarks Monday evening, calling his actions “shameful.” He blasted the president in a Twitter statement, saying he “used the military to push out a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op at a church.”
The president is calling out the American military against American citizens.
He used the military to push out a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op at a church.
It’s all just a reality TV show for this president.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 1, 2020