May 17, 2020
Maria Bartiromo: We had Mayor de Blasio on the other day. He said he needs seven-and-a-half billion dollars right now. Yesterday, he said he needs to be made whole. What are you thinking in terms of aid to the states, to the cities? How are you going to decide who gets what?
President Donald Trump: So, you’ve had a lot of states and cities that have been very badly run for a long time. A lot of them are trying to use the COVID problem – you know that – for making up what’s happened over 25 years of bad management, like your governor of Illinois, he wants money. He wants money – I know the family – he wants money, because, you know, he wants to make up for 25 years, and some very bad current years.
Bartiromo: And joining me right now to react to the President and that comment is the man who leads the city where President Trump was born and raised and came to fame, which is taking the biggest hit in the United States today from the coronavirus pandemic – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. Mayor, it’s good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you, Maria.
Bartiromo: You heard the President. Are you using this COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to cover up for years of mismanagement, sir?
Mayor: Maria, you've seen what's happened in this city. You're a New Yorker, you've seen what has happened in this city in recent years. Right before this pandemic, the highest level of employment in our history, booming economy, lowest crime since the 1950s more and more kids graduating on time in our public schools than ever in our history – you name it, this city was moving forward. And, as an American, Maria – I want to say, as an American, we're all in this together. So, when New York City does well, when New York State does well, it helps the whole country. When California does well, one of the other great engines of the national economy, it helps everyone. I don't think we should be talking about red states and blue states, we should be talking about American states, American cities, how to put America back on its feet. And when I told you about that seven-and-a-half billion dollars, that's revenue that's gone that pays for cops, firefighters, teachers, Sanitation workers. It's gone and there's no way I'm going to get it back. In fact, Maria, I'm probably going to see more and more revenue gone because our economy won't come back without a stimulus. So, I'm simply saying what it’s going to take to get us back on our feet.
Bartiromo: Right, but you can't blame the COVID-19 for everything. I mean, even before the current virus, you had streams of people – individuals and businesses – fleeing the city because of the taxes, fleeing the city because of the homelessness, and fleeing the city because of the inmates that you are letting out. New York City shooting spiked nearly 200 percent this week compared to the same time a year ago, crime is up, all the bad stats are up, you know that –
Mayor: No –
Bartiromo: So, the question becomes about your sanctuary city policies. Mr. Mayor, bottom line, are you willing to sacrifice sanctuary cities in order – sanctuary city policies in order to be eligible for this money?
Mayor: Maria, bottom line first, because I have a lot of respect for you, but you mischaracterize the reality – crime has been going down overall in this city now for seven years. We have times when things go up and the NYPD fights them back. The NYPD, every single time there's even the smallest spike in crime, fights it back. In terms of the city, some people left and a lot of people came, including we've built more homegrown millionaires in recent years and more millionaires have moved here than any who left. So, no, in fact, highest employment in our history, Maria, before this pandemic. This city has been booming, and I want to be –
Bartiromo: Well, the whole country – the whole country was experiencing – the whole country was experiencing record-low unemployment because of the President's tax cut and deregulation plans. That was the President's policies, not in New York policy.
Mayor: Wait, wait – Maria – I don’t want to talk about President Trump or President Obama’s policies [inaudible] I’m saying New York City. Listen, just simple –
Bartiromo: I spoke with one leader of the hospital this weekend and he said to me, the problem with Mayor de Blasio – one issue is that that is talked about around you is people say, the problem with Mayor de Blasio is that he hates wealth. He drives rich people out of the city with the – the amount of regulation and the tax increases, that you're driving businesses and individuals out. Let's not even go into the issue of the bail reform law where you had to let all of these inmates out and crime did spike, and we see that continuing so much of that you had to get them back and put them back in jail because as soon as you let them out, they went and they committed more crimes.
Mayor: Again, Maria, this city is the safest as being since the 1950s. I have increased the number of officers on patrol –
Bartiromo: Shootings are up 200 percent just this week – Mr. Mayor, shootings are up 200 percent just this week.
Mayor: And guess what – guess what, the NYPD will fight it back because I added 2,000 more officers on patrol and for six years in a row – now, seven – we've reduced crime and we will continue to. And, again, more and more –
Bartiromo: Is there any way you could pull back on your sanctuary city laws and follow the rule of the law when it comes to immigration –
Mayor: We follow the rule of the law –
Bartiromo: Then maybe the Trump administration will want to work with you.
Mayor: We followed the rule of law in this city and we respect the fact there's a half-million people here who happen to be undocumented. And the U.S. Supreme Court said in 2012 that the federal government does not have – in a federal system that respects states and localities – does not have the ability, because of its own policy preferences, to penalize cities that are trying to provide security and safety. You know the funding that President Trump originally threatened for the city – it was for the NYPD for our anti-terrorism efforts. That makes no sense at all. So, we're going to stick to our policies, which the Constitution protects, and we're going to serve our people and create a place that's safe for everyone. And you know what, the NYPD does not ask documentation status because decades ago – Mayor Bloomberg knew this, Mayor Giuliani knew this – to keep a city safe that happens to have hundreds of thousands of undocumented folks, we're not going to ask documentation status. We want to fix immigration in this country? Let's have a comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for all those who are here now. 12 million people – let's stop ignoring it, Maria, and denying it and actually deal with it as a country. That's something that Republicans and Democrats might actually get together on, because we don't, everyone's going to suffer, our economy is going to suffer. Let's deal with the reality.
Bartiromo: What do you – what do you want to say – what do you want to say to those people who are horrified by the nursing home situation where Governor Cuomo allowed coronavirus patients to go into nursing homes? Now, we're seeing a dreadful number of people having died at nursing homes. How is this happening on your watch?
Mayor: We all have to do better, there's no question. We're working with the State, with Governor Cuomo. We've been supplying protective equipment to those nursing homes. We're going to do everything we can. This is a horrible human crisis. I think about these families, Maria. We all have to – the State actually has the regulatory role in terms of regulating nursing homes. We don't, but we're all going to work together to fix this problem because we owe it to the people in those nursing homes and their families.
Bartiromo: All right, real quick, before you go Mr. Mayor. We know that the beaches will be open for Memorial Day, is New York City going to be the last place in the country to open?
Mayor: Yeah, we’re not going to do that in New York City, Maria.
Bartiromo: Why not?
Mayor: And you know – you grew up not far from Coney Island, you know that our beach is very crowded very quickly. We're not going to allow it. So, what I said today is we're not opening on Memorial Day as we normally do. For folks in the local community who walk on the beach, walk on the boardwalk, they could still do that. But no swimming, no lifeguards, no congregating. NYPD will be out there. Parks Department will be out there. If people are smart about it and listen to the rules, great. If not, we actually might have to put up fencing to keep people off the beach. I don't want to do it, but if I have to, I will. We are so far from being out of the woods here in New York City. We're still the epicenter until we're safe, no beaches open.
Bartiromo: Wow. We all want to get through this together. Mr. Mayor, good to see you. I hope you'll join me soon on Mornings with Maria. We will see you soon. Thank you, sir. Mayor de Blasio.