New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out and said that he believes Gov. Andrew Cuomo did indeed threaten an assemblyman who criticized him for the way he’s handled the COVID-19 pandemic, an allegation Cuomo has denied, calling it “nothing new.”
Ron Kim, the assemblyman in this situation, spoke with CNN and said that he got a phone call from the governor as his team sought to keep the full extent of COVID deaths linked to nursing homes under wraps, a scandal that is now unfolding before our very eyes.
“That’s classic Andrew Cuomo,” de Blasio said. “A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls. You know, the bullying is nothing new. I believe Ron Kim, and it’s very, very sad, no public servant, no person who is telling the truth should be treated that way. But yeah, the threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment, many, many times I’ve heard that, and I know a lot of other people in the state have heard that.”
He said he believes Kim’s version of events “100%,” adding, “I know him. He’s a good public servant. I’ve always seen him as a person of integrity. It’s just the script is exactly what a lot of us have heard before. It’s not a surprise. It’s sad. It’s not the way people should be treated. You know, a lot of people get intimidated by that. I give him credit for not being intimidated.”
De Blasio previously called for an investigation into Cuomo’s handling of the nursing home scandal.advertisement — content continues below
Kim alleged that Cuomo called him last week directly “to threaten my career if I did not cover up for Melissa [DeRosa] and what she said. He tried to pressure me to issue a statement, and it was a very traumatizing experience,” and he said that the governor warned him that the assemblyman hadn’t experienced his “wrath,” which could “destroy” him.
Cuomo senior adviser Rich Azzopardi accused Kim of “lying” in a prior statement to the Washington Examiner, adding, “I know because I was one of three other people in the room when the phone call occurred. At no time did anyone threaten to ‘destroy’ anyone with their ‘wrath,’ nor engage in a ‘cover-up.’ That’s beyond the pale and is, unfortunately, part of a yearslong pattern of lies by Mr. Kim against this administration.”
Cuomo has responded to these allegations by accusing Kim of “unethical if not illegal” behavior that allegedly comes from a totally different dispute. It really seems like these two do not like each other. Lots of bad blood going on in this situation.
As of this writing, Cuomo’s office has not responded to de Blasio’s comments.
Kim first hit the scene as a Cuomo critic when he began to push allegations of corruption with how the governor was handling the coronavirus crisis.