ALBANY NY (WRGB) - Governor Cuomo had some scathing words for President Trump after the latter held a surprise press conference Monday where he encouraged the nation's governors to use the full might of the national guard, or he would do it for them.
"The protesters themselves have been making a very valid point: Wake up America, we're killing people based on the color of their skin. And it is a real issue," Governor Cuomo said on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront Monday.
Governor Cuomo wasted no time Monday evening in responding to President Trump's controversial press conference.
"The president wants to make it a reality TV show of God and country," Governor Cuomo continued. "Call out the military and then I go to church and hold up a bible. Yeah, we understand who he's trying to appeal to, and the base he's trying to rally with the military and believe in God and I hold a bible."
President Trump received backlash for a trip to the nearby St. John's Church following the press conference, with some accusing police of using tear gas on non-violent protesters to clear the path. Prior to the President's press conference, explosions from flash bangs and tear gas grenades could be easily heard.
"What the president today did was he called out the American military against American citizens," Governor Cuomo added. "That's what they did. They used the American military to push back a peaceful protest, which everyone watched on TV, just so he could have a photo-op of walking to a church[...] Calling out the American military for a photo opportunity. That's what it was. I mean, it was shameful. It was really, truly shameful."
Is that making America great? I don't think so.
This isn't the first time Governor Cuomo has spoken out against President Trump's response to the protesters. In an interview with MSNBC's Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, the governor accused the President of attempting to conflate the protesters with those committing crimes:
"There's no doubt that what the President's trying to do here is turn the attention to the looters rather than the point of the protest, which is genuine outrage," Governor Cuomo said. "They want to make this about looting and criminals rather than the killing. That's what they're trying to do. In New York, we did have large protests and we do have people who are, I think, exploiting the protest."
The President's full press conference can be viewed below: