NEW YORK — President Donald Trump accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday of using state Attorney General Letitia James against him and his businesses.
In a trio of tweets posted shortly after noon, the Republican president said “Cuomo’s A.G.” — whom he did not mention by name — is “harassing all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible.”
He also cast James — an independently elected official who is the first black woman to hold her office — as a “bludgeoning tool” whom Cuomo uses “for his own purposes.”
“So, on top of ridiculously high taxes, my children and companies are spending a fortune on lawyers,” Trump wrote. “No wonder people and businesses are fleeing New York in record numbers!”
It’s unclear what prompted the president’s attack on two of New York State’s highest-ranking elected officials, both Democrats who have touted their efforts to fight the Trump administration.
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But he complained about the attorney general’s lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, his charity that agreed to dissolve under court supervision in December. The lawsuit, which accused Trump of using the foundation to benefit himself and his presidential campaign, was filed by then-AG Barbara Underwood last June following a probe started under former AG Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after four women accused him of abuse.
“Going on for years, originally brought by Crooked Hillary’s Campaign Chair, A.G. Eric Schneiderman, until forced to resign for abuse against women,” Trump tweeted, misstating who actually brought the lawsuit.
“They never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation,” he added, referring to the charity associated with Hillary Clinton, his 2016 election opponent.
In a tweet of her own, James took a swipe at Trump for not acknowledging her by name and said that her office “will follow the facts of any case, wherever they lead.”
“Make no mistake: No one is above the law, not even the President,” she said. “P.S. My name is Letitia James. (You can call me Tish.)”
Cuomo also reportedly hit back on a conference call with reporters, saying Trump’s tax policy caused many New Yorkers’ taxes to rise.
“Nothing that man can say can surprise me or the people of this country,” Cuomo said, according to Marie J. French, a Politco New York reporter who was on the call. “He says absurd things.”