Governor Cuomo: "President Trump should resign. ... If he doesn't resign, I believe he should be impeached."
Cuomo: "Let our Congressional delegation show this country that we still have reasonable leadership and principled leadership and say, yes, this President should resign. ... Show that yes, there is some common sense left to government and some decency left in elected officials despite the crazy political times. And if you don't, you will live with it. You will live with it."
Cuomo: "The question will always be, what did you do when Washington anarchy descended? What did you do when they were climbing through the windows saying six million dead Jewish people wasn't enough? What did you do at that moment?"
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called on New York State's Congressional delegation to call for President Trump's resignation following the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by rioters encouraged to act by the President.
AUDIO of today's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:
We've seen a lot over the past four years. I've seen a lot over the past four years with this Administration, but I would have never imagined anything as horrific as what happened in Washington, DC.
This was not a political rally. This was not democracy in action. This was anarchy. This is an explosion of hate. This is the result of a leader who for four years actually appealed to the worst in people, appealed to fear and racism and discrimination, appealed to people's fear of different people. This country is made up of different people. That's the founding premise of the country. We're all different. That was how we were formed. That is the American franchise.
When you demonize differences, you literally tear the fabric of the nation apart and that's what this President has done from day one - the old political strategy, divide and conquer, divide white from Black, divide Jewish people from non-Jewish people, divide gay people, LGBTQ, from non-LGBTQ, divide old immigrants from new immigrants, divide, divide, divide, divide. That's what he excelled at. He martialed hate. He martialed fear, and that's what you saw happen in the Capitol.
You look at what these people were celebrating - it was racism. It was ant-Semitism, Camp Auschwitz. How disgusting a statement. Six million weren't enough. How repugnant and repulsive a statement. Confederate flag. This was KKK in Charlottesville who didn't wear a mask because they felt liberated in their hate by President Trump. It's so horrific on so many levels. I was in the federal government for eight years at a very contentious time. I was there during the Clinton Administration, secretary, Housing and Urban Development. This was during impeachment. This was the Newt Gingrich revolution. This was a really heated political environment. But nothing like this. Nothing like this. Nothing like the vitriol and hate that we saw here. From a security point of view, I'm shocked at what they allowed to happen. I remember walking into a federal building, you had to go through metal detectors, take everything out of your pockets, as a cabinet secretary. The security of government. The security of the American government. That is paramount. And international counties and anarchy groups watch this.
State of the Union address, several times, I was the person, the cabinet member who didn't attend the State of the Union. Why? They were so security-conscious that they said well, if everyone is in the capitol, it's an opportunity for someone to attack, so they had one cabinet member stay out, just in case there was, God forbid, an attack. Look at the level of security and the level of planning. And then they gave me all these briefings and showed me all these national security issues. What happened to the security of the nation's capital? I mean, if you're looking at this, any bunch of thugs, any mob, can literally take over the government, which is what they did. The police, what happened? What happened to the security forces?
I mean, look at the difference when President Trump wanted to walk across the street to hold the Bible in front of a church for a photo opportunity, he had the attorney general as the advance man. He had troops, he had tear gas, he had people on horseback clearing the way for a photo opportunity. When there are protests for civil rights with predominately Black and Latino protestors, look at how they acted. And here you had for hours, this crowd running rampant? They said to me at the beginning of it, maybe we should send down National Guard. I said well, by the time we assemble the National Guard and we get them down there, would be hours, I'm sure, given the police presence in Washington, D.C. They're going to have thousands of police in a matter of moments. It never happened. It never occurred. How, how, does that happen? And what signal does it send about the vulnerability of this nation? I mean, it is so disturbing on so many levels, I'll tell you the truth, I can't stop thinking about it.
This my friends is a moment in history. There are moments. What did you do at the time of 9/11? What was your reaction? What was your response? There are moments that define you that are a picture of your character and a picture of your soul and what you believe and who you are fundamentally.
COVID was a snapshot, a long snapshot but a snapshot. What did you do when COVID happened? How did you react? Did you stand up? Did you run away? Were you competent? Were you incompetent? It was a moment.
This is a moment in history and we're going to be defined by what we did in this moment. Certainly elected officials are going to be defined by this moment. Certainly federal elected officials are going to be defined by this moment. It's what statement we make as a people about what we believe about government and democracy.
I believe President Trump should resign. I believe if he doesn't resign, I believe he should be impeached. Well, he only has 13 days. That's not the point. The point is the statement that we do not tolerate this as a government. That's why impeachment. Now impeachment, will bring great anguish to the country. The last thing I want to see and this nation needs is another period of division, another period of hyper political activity. But if he won't resign I believe impeachment is appropriate. By the way, impeachment also means the President doesn't have the power to pardon and some of the pardons this President has done are really reprehensible. But I believe if he doesn't resign he should be impeached. But I believe he should resign.
I call on every New York federal official to call for President Trump's resignation. Don't put the country through impeachment. Don't wait for any Cabinet action. Call for him to resign as his own act, but call for him to resign.
I don't care if you're a Democrat, I don't care if you're a Republican, I don't care what you are. You're a government official. You took an oath. You saw the anarchy. You saw the hatred. You saw the vandalism. You saw the theft. You saw the breakdown of society. You saw this nation look like a joke internationally. Put your politics aside and Do what any reasonable American believes.
Now even in this political time we still have reasonable Americans. There is no reasonable American who looked at that screen and saw what happened and said this is okay. There's no reasonable American who saw what the President did and said this is okay. None. Are there hate mongers who say, yeah, that's right, overthrow the government? Sure there are. Sure there are those voices. But don't respond to those voices. Don't respond to those voices. Respond to what reasonable Americans, reasonable New Yorkers believe, responsible New Yorkers believe. Put principle over party. There is no Republican or Democratic elected official, federal official who can look in the mirror today and say I condone what happened. I condone what this President did. None. You support an orderly transition of power? President Trump resigns. Vice President Pence takes over. Vice President Pence governs for the remaining days. That's an orderly transition of power and a statement of principle.
Make that statement today. If you don't you will live with it forever. The question is simple. Were you with the mob? Or are you with the American people? If you're New York federal representative, are you with the mob, or are you with New Yorkers? That's what I ask you today. New Yorkers, Democrats and Republicans, they don't support mob rule. They don't support racism. They don't support anti-Semitism. They don't support discrimination. They don't support anarchy. No, New Yorker does, and if they do I don't care if you're a Republican. You don't want to represent those sentiments. You don't. No responsible elected official should.
Let our Congressional delegation show this country that we still have reasonable leadership and principled leadership and say, yes, this President should resign. The President should resign. Show that solidarity. Show that yes, there is some common sense left to government and some decency left in elected officials despite the crazy political times. And if you don't, you will live with it. You will live with it. The question will always be, what did you do when Washington anarchy descended? What did you do when they were climbing through the windows saying six million dead Jewish people wasn't enough? What did you do at that moment? And you will live with the consequences.