WASHINGTON — States left cash-strapped by the coronavirus crisis shouldn’t count on federal bailouts — especially those run by Democrats, President Trump told The Post on Monday.
During a sit-down in the Oval Office, Trump echoed recent remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who last month refused to open federal coffers for “blue state” governments — including New York’s — that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“I think Congress is inclined to do a lot of things but I don’t think they’re inclined to do bailouts. A bailout is different than, you know, reimbursing for the plague,” said Trump, who also predicted a strong economic rebound from the coronavirus crisis by the end of the year, and offered his opinions on presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s best pick for a running mate and the sex-assault allegations facing the former vice president.
“It’s not fair to the Republicans because all the states that need help — they’re run by Democrats in every case. Florida is doing phenomenal, Texas is doing phenomenal, the Midwest is, you know, fantastic — very little debt.”
Trump also said, “You look at Illinois, you look at New York, look at California, you know, those three, there’s tremendous debt there, and many others.
“I don’t think the Republicans want to be in a position where they bail out states that are, that have been mismanaged over a long period of time,” he said.
The comments are sure to infuriate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has sparred with Trump and McConnell over their unwillingness to help coronavirus-stricken states.
Cuomo has called McConnell’s suggestion that states instead declare bankruptcy “the most un-American, most uncharitable, ugly statement of all time,” and noted that New York “puts more money in the federal pot” than it gets back — unlike McConnell’s home state of Kentucky.
The imbalance has cost the Empire State $116 billion since 2015.
Last week, New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin emerged as a lone Republican voice urging the federal government to help the Big Apple, telling The Post that bankruptcy was not an option.
When asked about Cuomo’s assertions, Trump said New York got a lot in return and blasted the state’s “hostile” and “nasty” Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“We give a lot to New York, you know, including great defense, defense to the whole country,” he said.
“So much more could be done for New York, but the leadership is so hostile in the form of your two senators.”
He added: “You want to work for people, you want to work together with everyone and then you have these people, hostile as can be, always nasty.”
“Then they come in and want things. It’s not like a working environment that you want to be involved with. I never even had a phone call from Schumer or Kirsten,” he said.