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Donald Trump hits Andrew Cuomo for probes by state AG

President Donald Trump on Wednesday on the South

President Donald Trump on Wednesday on the South Lawn of the White House. Credit: AP/Evan Vucci

ALBANY — President Donald Trump on Monday blamed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for investigations of Trump’s company by state Attorney General Letitia James, prompting Cuomo to say Trump doesn’t know how government works.

“It is very hard and expensive to live in New York,” Trump tweeted Monday. “Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his attorney general as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes. They sue on everything, always in search of a crime. I even got sued on a foundation which took Zero rent & expenses & gave away more money that it had.”

But Cuomo told reporters, “I understand the President doesn’t really understand how the government works,”

Cuomo continued, “ … In New York the attorney general is elected. I don’t appoint the attorney general, the people of the state pick the attorney general. I don’t have an attorney general.”

While the state attorney general is elected, Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat who is investigating Trump’s company and his foundation , received a significant boost from Cuomo’s endorsement of her campaign. She rose quickly to the top of a crowded field of candidates in 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Also, one duty of the attorney general is to act as the government’s lawyer, which often requires arguing in court on behalf of an action by the governor.

Trump said in his multipart tweet that James is “in search of anything at all they can find to make me look as bad as possible. So, on top of ridiculously high taxes, my children and companies are spending a fortune on lawyers. No wonder people and businesses are fleeing New York in record numbers!”

In a teleconference with reporters to conclude his recent trip to Israel, Cuomo replied, “If he has nothing to hide he has nothing to worry about. But his tweets show his paranoia is again getting the better of him.”

James tweeted: “Make no mistake: No one is above the law, not even the President.”

Cuomo also criticized Trump’s tax law that puts a $10,000 cap on federal deductibility of state and local taxes.

For residents of most of the country and most of New York State, as well as for corporations, that meant a cut in federal income taxes.

But the cap has also meant a jump in tax liability for high-income New Yorkers in areas such as Long Island with high property taxes.

“I have reduced taxes in the state of New York … the only increase I see is the Trump tax increase,” said Cuomo. He raised taxes in this state. So if he wants to blame someone for high taxes in New York, it’s not Andrew Cuomo, who lowered taxes … the President should look in the mirror.”

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