Former President Donald Trump ripped into embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a New York State Republican Party fundraiser Thursday night — alluding to the governor facing impeachment after a state investigative report branded the three-term Democrat a serial sexual harasser of female underlings.
Trump also was bullish that the Republicans have a chance to win the governorship.
“Cuomo’s got real problems,” Trump said at the event held at the Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff.
He gave a shout out to the state Senate Republican Minority Leader Robert Ortt, who would participate in a Senate trial to remove Cuomo if the Assembly impeaches him.
“It’s going to be a hot couple of weeks in Albany,” Trump said, according to invitees who applauded the prospect of booting Cuomo. “Senator Ortt is going to have a great time.”
“Cuomo has found himself in an interesting situation.”
Trump, who himself has also been the subject of sexual harassment accusations and boorish behavior and was impeached by the House of Republicans but cleared in the US Senate, did not delve deeply into Cuomo’s problems.
Trump also said Cuomo was “horrible on COVID” — repeating his criticism that the governor didn’t properly use the USS Comfort hospital ship he dispatched to New York during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former president urged guests to get vaccinated for COVID and encouraged other Americans to do so “because I don’t want to see anything bad happen to my people.”
The fundraiser was attended by 500 guests and raised $1 million for the state Republican Committee.
Trump, who set aside his speech and instead spoke extemporaneously and took questions for 45 mintues, recognized GOP gubernatorial candidates — Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani, who served as a Trump White House aide and is the son of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Both Zeldin and Giuliani spoke.
Trump said Andrew Giuliani, a former professional golfer, is “one of the best political golfers.”
“We’re going to have a Republican governor,” he said.
Trump called up Rudy Giuliani to the podium and they discussed the crime situation in New York as well as the fact that Cuomo and the Democratic-run state Legislature this year raised taxes on the wealthy by billions of dollars.
Trump said Cuomo and city Mayor Bill de Blasio have “destroyed New York.”
Cuomo also recognized upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House Republican Party Policy chairwoman, and Staten Island Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, as stars in the GOP.
He praised Stefanik for defending him during the House “impeachment hoax.”
Trump said he expected two upstate Republican congress members — Claudia Tenney and John Katko — will be pitted against each in a primary after House seats are rejiggered next year. New York is required to eliminate one House seat after the ten-year census count.
Katko had voted to impeach Trump.
“We’re going to be for Claudia,” he said.
Trump also recognized former Staten Island Rep. Vito Fossella, who he endorsed in the closely contested Republican primary for borough president. Fossella won.
Trump was asked whether he will run to reclaim the presidency in 2024.
“I’ll make an announcement very soon. I’ll let you guys know,” he teased.