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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

'We have a constitution, we don't have a king': Andrew Cuomo rejects Trump's claim of 'total authority' to lift shutdowns and threatens legal action if he tries to reopen New York prematurely

'US doesn't have a king': Andrew Cuomo rejects Trump's claim of 'total authority' to lift
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rebuked President Trump's claims that he has blanket authority to order a reopening of the country and cease stay-at-home orders, saying Monday night that the last time he checked the US had 'a constitution...not a king'. In a heated press conference inside the White House on Monday evening, Trump asserted that his office holds 'absolute power' over the shutdowns prompted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, hours after Cuomo and governors from eight other states unveiled their own multi-state pact to co-ordinate their eventual re-openings. 

'When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,' Trump told reporters, declining to specify where his authority to overrule states resides when pressed by DailyMail.com. 'The federal government has absolute power.' But Trump's claims of total authority were quickly refuted by Cuomo, who slammed the president's 'abrogation of the Constitution' in an interview on MSNBC.


'Mr. Trump offered no legal or constitutional basis to back up his claim to exclusive authority to reopen society,' Cuomo told MSNBC. 'Why he [Trump] would even go there, I have no idea.

'The constitution says we don’t have a king. To say I have total authority over the country because I’m the president, it’s absolute, that is a king. We didn’t have a king, we didn’t have king George Washington, we had President George Washington.'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rebuked President Trump's claims that he has blanket authority to order a reopening of the country and cease stay-at-home orders, saying Monday night that last time he checked the US had 'a constitution...not a king' +8
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rebuked President Trump's claims that he has blanket authority to order a reopening of the country and cease stay-at-home orders, saying Monday night that last time he checked the US had 'a constitution...not a king'

Cuomo then pointed out that it was in fact state governors who imposed a variety of stay-home orders under their state constitutions in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, not the federal government.

Questioning the logic behind Trump's sudden assertion that he'll have the final say on any reopenings, Cuomo continued: 'Why [Trump] would want to say that after he initially did the "closing down of the government" - he never did the close down. He wants to say the travel ban with China was a close down, it wasn’t — it was a travel ban with China. 


'The close down was left to the governors to do individually state by state. Now the reopen should be total authority? That makes no sense.' 

Cuomo issued the president a parting shot, warning him that if he takes any measures that could potentially endanger the lives of New Yorkers - such as enforcing premature reopenings - then Cuomo will seek legal action. 
Later, the governor phoned into CNN to double-down on his admonishment of Trump, and what he conceived to be a blatant example of the president disregarding the 10th amendment.
'I don't agree with the president's analysis...we don't have a king - we have an elected president,' the New York governor reaffirmed. 'That's what our founding fathers said when they wrote the constitution. And the Constitution says the powers not specifically listed for the federal government are reserved for the states.'

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