New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) visited President Trump on Thursday afternoon to try and negotiate the reversal of his administration's new ban on New Yorkers participating in the Global Entry and "trusted traveler" programs, which ease border crossings and airport security lines for enrolled travelers. Cuomo had low hopes, and they were met. The governor's office and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said talks will continue.
Before the meeting, Trump floated what appeared to be an offer he hoped New York couldn't refuse. Cuomo "must understand that National Security far exceeds politics," he tweeted, an apparent reference to the administration's purported rationale for blocking New Yorkers from the programs. "New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment [sic]." New York Attorney General Letitia James — who won a $2 million settlement from Trump over his canceled family charity and is suing him and his business on multiple fronts, including for his financial records — clapped back.
When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down.
Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
BTW, I file the lawsuits, not the Governor. https://t.co/tsOLeEgiQp
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 13, 2020
House Democrats were disappointed but not surprised that post-impeachment Trump would try to evidently leverage the federal government for personal favors.
This is what another quid pro quo by the President of the United States looks like. https://t.co/7E4PbxevBG
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) February 13, 2020
Trump is "expanding his abuse of power to blackmailing U.S. states," said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), one of Trump's impeachment prosecutors. "In this case, he's holding New York state hostage to try to stop investigations into his prior tax fraud.”
Cuomo said if he and Trump can't make a deal, "then we have a lawsuit — and by the way, it's not just New York. There was a fascinating memo that was leaked from the Department of Homeland Security ... that laid out things that could be done to punish unfriendly states."