Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio Criticize Trump Tweets as ‘Not Helpful,’ Claim ‘They Were Not Factual’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose name has been raised as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, and Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized President Donald Trump for his tweets during a Wednesday press conference meant to address the terrorist attack that left eight people dead.

“The president’s tweets, I think, were not helpful,” Cuomo said. “I think they were not factual. I think they tended to point fingers and politicize the situation. He was referring back to an immigration policy that dealt with a lottery and blaming people who passed that immigration policy,” Cuomo said, adding, “His tweet wasn’t even accurate as far as I’m concerned. It was a bipartisan law that was passed that had basically no relevance to the facts of this situation.”

President Trump pointed out over Twitter that the alleged New York terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, who entered the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan, did so under the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (known as HR 4300 in the House and SR 358 in the Senate) — a program introduced in part by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in 1990 that Trump wishes to end.

The legislation was passed in both the Senate and House of Representatives before then-President George H.W. Bush signed it into law. A majority of Republicans were against its passage.

Trump iterated that he wants merit-based immigration, which would reward points to applicants based on education, high-paying job offers, their past achievements, and their proficiency in English.

In 2013, Schumer sought to expand upon immigration overhaul efforts and was instrumental in the Gang of Eight bill, which would have done away with the Diversity Visa Program by essentially supplanting it with a larger program that the bipartisan group of lawmakers suggested was even more merit-based. The Gang of Eight ultimately did not pass in the House.

“You play into the hands of the terrorists to the extent you disrupt and divide and frighten people in this society,” Cuomo went on to say on Wednesday. “And the tone now should be the exact opposite by all officials on all levels. This is about unification, this is about solidarity, this is about normalization, this is about protection, and the last thing it’s about is politics — period.”

De Blasio agreed with Cuomo. He went on to say, “We support vetting of individuals, we support thorough vetting … we should be very, very careful vetting anyone if there is any indication of concern, but not because of their religion.”

Saipov reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he allegedly attacked people with a rented van in New York City.

“We support very thorough vetting, not of groups of people just because they belong to a group,” De Blasio said. “I think this is a very crucial distinction. There should be very, very careful vetting of anyone where there is an indication of a concern, but not because of their religion or not because of their country of origin,” de Blasio said. “I want to affirm the governor’s point. This should be a unity moment where the focus should be on solving the crime and figuring out how we can move forward together, not the pointing of fingers.”

Also on Wednesday, Cuomo claimed that Saipov was “radicalized domestically,” saying on CNN, “all the evidence we have is that he was a quote-unquote lone-wolf model. He has had several run-ins with the law which were basically minor vehicular traffic. He is a depraved coward is what he is. He was associated with ISIS and he was radicalized domestically and he’s a depraved coward.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.