‘He started it four years ago’: Cuomo blasts Trump for inciting hatred and violence prior to attack of Capitol

(Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

By Emily Davenport

Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in on President Trump’s role in the attack on the U.S Capitol.

During a COVID-19 vaccination briefing, Cuomo took a minute to respond to the Trump supporters storming on U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Though many have said that the president incited the violence that day, Cuomo said it started much earlier.

“People say that Trump started it yesterday. I disagree, President Trump didn’t start if yesterday — he started it four years ago,” said Cuomo. “When you spread hatred and distrust and division, don’t be surprised at the ugliness that follows.”

Cuomo said that the attack on the Capitol was a result of “four years of placing wedges in every crack in society” and preying on the people’s insecurities and fears.

“This is building walls. This is putting children in cages. This is speaking poorly of the Muslim community. This is saying that at a KKK march, there are good people on both sides,” said Cuomo. “This is four years of appealing to the worst in human instinct and preying on people’s fears. That’s what yesterday was. The story ends the way the story began. This is a man who spent four years of touching the darker side of humanity and exploiting fear of people who are different.”

Cuomo noted that the explosion of hate that took place is Trump’s legacy. When you give the president a large microphone and they tell others to be violent, to arm themselves, and to be frightened of other people, don’t be surprised about the carnage that follows. Cuomo said that this event made a mockery of America for all the world to see.

“He couldn’t stop thugs from breaking windows and climbing in and vandalizing the nation’s capital,” said Cuomo. “For hours on TV, they could even stop a crowd of thugs from breaking into the capital. Think about the great irony, ‘I stand with the police’ – it went on for hours. The party of law and order.”

Despite this, Cuomo believes that this is a way for Americans to stand together and reject the hate that has come through the events at the U.S. Capitol as well as what came through Trump’s presidency.

When asked about whether or not the president should be removed from his office, Cuomo stated that he wasn’t sure how valuable that would be this close to the transition. However, he does believe that a statement of condemnation needs to come towards those who committed the violence.

“This was a failed coup. This was four years of appealing to fear and division and distrust,” said Cuomo. “This is a clear violation of the constitution.”

However, Cuomo noted that those who supported the violence it may be in their best interest to speak out against the actions of the Trump supporters.

“If I’m a cabinet member in this administration, just for the history books, I would step forward and say the president should be removed,” said Cuomo. “If I’m Vice President Pence, to honor my oath, I would say the president should be removed. For the facilitators, enablers, and all of those who signed on to support overturning the election, this was an affront, an attack on democracy. Those who supported what happened, supported a coup — I would clear my name.”

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