New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told President Trump “we will see you in court” on Thursday after the president threatened the federal funding for Seattle, Portland, New York City and Washington, D.C. as part of an effort to target “anarchist jurisdictions” that he claims have “permitted violence and the destruction of property” during recent protests.
“I want to speak directly to the president,” de Blasio said during a press conference Thursday morning. “If you persist in trying to deny the funding that’s keeping New York City going in the middle of this crisis, we will see you in court and once again we will beat you in court.
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“Your words don’t carry much weight on this topic because the Supreme Court has spoken,” de Blasio said. “The president of the United States can’t interfere with funding for cities and states just because he feels like it.”
In addition to de Blasio’s remarks, the Democratic mayors of the four cities issued a statement on Thursday.
“Our cities, and the millions of Americans who we represent, are not President Trump’s political pawns,” they said in a statement. “We are confronting unprecedented challenges—fighting back a pandemic and economic devastation without another stimulus. Now, instead of leadership from the White House, we are faced with new attacks that are unlawful, unconstitutional and will be undoubtedly defeated in court.
“President Trump needs to wake up to the reality facing our cities — and our entire country — and realize he is not above the law,” the statement continued.
In a memo to the attorney general and the White House budget director, the president called for a review of all federal funds provided to the four cities, saying, “it is imperative that the federal government review the use of federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.”
All four cities have experienced varying amounts of violence and destruction of property amid the summer-long protests against police brutality, systemic racism and Trump himself.
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“My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” Trump wrote in the memo.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.