Threatening Queens Assemblymember Ron Kim (D) sounds like something New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) would do, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
The New York mayor spoke to MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday after Kim alleged that Cuomo called him to "threaten my career" amid a growing scandal involving the state's handling of information on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. De Blasio, who has often clashed with Cuomo, expressed support for Kim on MSNBC.
"That's classic Andrew Cuomo," de Blasio said. "A lot of people in New York State have received those phone calls. The bullying is nothing new."
De Blasio said he believes Kim's claims, alleging that "the threats, the belittling, the demand that someone change their statement right that moment, many, many times I've heard that and I know a lot of other people in this state have heard that."
Kim told CNN that Cuomo called him to threaten his career "if I did not cover up for" an aide who acknowledged withholding information on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes due to concerns of a possible Justice Department investigation. Kim also told The New York Times that Cuomo wanted him to issue a statement claiming he misheard what the aide said.
"Basically, I saw a crime and he's asking me to say that I did not see that crime," Kim told the Times. "I heard what I heard and I can't lie."
A spokesperson for Cuomo denied Kim's account, accusing him of "lying" and saying that "at no time" did the governor "threaten to 'destroy'" Kim. Still, CNN writes that "his office did not deny allegations that Cuomo threatened other New York legislators." Brendan Morrow