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Donald Trump: Andrew Cuomo may have made 'career threatening' mistake

Governor Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement about healthcare,

Governor Andrew Cuomo makes an announcement about healthcare, housing, and jobs for central Brooklyn residents at the Brownsville Recreation Center on Linden Boulevard, Thursday, July 5, 2018. Credit: Jeff Bachner

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made what could be a “career threatening” mistake when he said that “America was never that great” — a statement the governor conceded was “inartful.”

But after Trump aimed a pair of tweets at the New York Democrat on Friday morning ahead of a fundraising trip to Long Island, the two strong-willed politicians traded barbs at each other.

"Wow! Big pushback on Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York for his really dumb statement about America's lack of greatness," Trump tweeted. "Andrew 'choked' badly, mistake!"

Trump added, “When a politician admits that ‘We’re not going to make America great again,’ there doesn’t seem to be much reason to ever vote for him. This could be a career threatening statement by Andrew Cuomo, with many wanting him to resign.”

Trump also touted his record: “I have already MADE America Great Again, just look at the markets, jobs, military-setting records, and we will do even better.”

Cuomo on Friday conceded he should have expressed his views differently Wednesday when he said, “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great,” in a slap at Trump’s slogan "Make America Great Again."

“The expression I used the other day was inartful,” Cuomo admitted in a phone call with reporters after a wave of criticism by Republicans and even some Democrats. “Of course, America is great. And of course, America has always been great.”

As evidence of that greatness, Cuomo referred to his family's rise as immigrants who achieved success in America.

But Cuomo repeated his criticism of Trump and his agenda, which he called “the antithesis of American greatness” and “anti-American."

Cuomo attacked Trump for taking steps to go back to a time before there were legal abortions, workers’ rights, environmental protections, same-sex marriages, LGBTQ equality and admission of a wider range of immigrants.

"He has hurt New York badly, and everything he does is repugnant to our values," he said. “This is a fight for the soul and values of this state and this country. And we are not backing up one step.”

Cuomo also called Trump “vindictive and petty and small” and said the president was trying to “distract from Omarosa and Manafort and Russia.”

Cuomo did not, however, address Trump’s dig at his family in the tweet, when the president suggested that Cuomo’s potential political fall could get higher ratings than those of his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Trump later needled Cuomo, saying his Wednesday statement was a "bigger and more incompetent blunder" than Hillary Clinton calling half of Trump's supporters "deplorables."

Trump added, "He should easily win his race against a Super Liberal Actress, but his political career is over!"

On Friday afternoon, Cuomo tweeted: "We know how tough Trump is: hiding behind tweets & ripping babies from their mothers' arms. Let's get something straight: America is great because it rejects your hate-filled agenda of bigotry & sexism. Ny'ers have your number @realDonaldTrump & will fight you all day. Bring it on."

Rebecca Katz, a senior adviser to Cuomo’s Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon, chided the governor in a statement: “Andrew Cuomo backed down after a few insults from him today, and folded like a cheap suit."

With Yancey Roy

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