Cuomo says Trump told him feds would not deploy to NYC; announces crackdown on social distance violators

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that he’d spoken with President Trump about the idea of sending federal law enforcement officers to New York City during a time of nationwide protests and was assured that such a move is not currently planned.

“Policing is left up to the states,” Cuomo said during his daily news briefing Thursday. “The president and I had a good conversation. He said he would not be sending troops into New York City.”

Cuomo added that Trump left open the option for Cuomo to change his mind — which would result in a lawsuit, the governor said. But he added that he would prefer not to have to resort to that.

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“If they sent in federal agents I think it would be inflammatory, it would be pouring gasoline on a fire,” Cuomo said. “And that’s the last thing we need in New York City. So the president said he heard me. He said he wouldn’t do it. He said that we would talk if anything changed.”

Cuomo’s comments came a day after Attorney General William Barr announced that Operation Legend — the White House initiative to crack down on spikes in homicides and gun violence — would expand from Kansas City, Mo., into Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M.

Federal agents have also deployed to Portland, Ore., to protect government buildings there.

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Cuomo on Thursday also announced a crackdown on social distancing violations in bars and restaurants in the Empire State, days after ordering new restrictions barring the sale of alcohol to patrons who do not also order food.

He said that although recent coronavirus numbers throughout the state were all “good,” large gatherings are still cause for concern of potential outbreaks.

“We had just about 30 positives from one July 4 party,” he said. “You understand why we say one bad event, one bad group, can be a real problem.”

He pointed to a prior outbreak in New Rochelle as the “first hotspot in the United States” and noted that “one person can make a difference” when it comes to super-spreader events.

NY GOV. CUOMO ISSUES NEW BAR, RESTAURANT RESTRICTIONS IN CORONAVIRUS FIGHT: ‘3 STRIKES YOU’RE CLOSED’

“It’s been six months — we know what COVID is about,” he said. “Let’s at least learn the lesson of the past six months.”

Cuomo argued that when the state began its reopening on May 15, new coronavirus cases continued to decline because it was “a smart reopening,” but he singled out bars and restaurants as places where people might continue to flout social distancing and increase the risk of a new surge.

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The crackdown on venues that violate social distancing guidelines will include enforcement from the state Liquor Authority and state troopers, but the governor also called on local police to help out.

He said that people aged between 21 and 30 are the only group that has seen a spike in new infections in the state and announced a new ad campaign directed at that age group.

“If it doesn’t kill you, you can bring it home and give it to someone inadvertently,” he said. “And it can kill them.”

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