A wide swath of local politicos believe New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) basically admitted that he was the anonymous official who criticised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) in a newspaper story.
The story in question was published in the Daily News on Wednesday evening. In it, a person who was only identified as a “top” Cuomo administration official was extensively quoted accusing de Blasio of bungling his relationship with the state government. De Blasio and Cuomo have an infamously tense relationship and the mayor did not achieve many of legislative goals on the state level this year, including those related to affordable housing and education.
“He is more politically oriented in terms of his approach … and then he makes it almost impossible for him to achieve success,” the anonymous Cuomo official said to the Daily News.
The interview was striking to many of the Albany reporters most familiar with Cuomo. The anonymous official spoke with one of Cuomo’s most famous mannerisms: asking himself questions before answering them in order to reframe the issue at hand.
Underneath the teasing Thursday morning headline “Cuomo impersonator attacks mayor,” Capital New York documented several reporters calling attention to the “eerily familiar” quotes in the Daily News interview:
Cuomo held an unrelated press conference on Thursday afternoon to tout the end of the state legislative session. When he was asked if he was the official criticising de Blasio to the Daily News, he didn’t deny it:
Cuomo then basically admitted it was him: “Sometimes we talk on the record, sometimes we talk on background.”
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) June 25, 2015
Cuomo is asked why he anonymously criticises Bill de Blasio. “Sometimes it’s a little faster to talk off-the-record, as you know,” he says.
— erica orden (@eorden) June 25, 2015
“If I don’t believe a proposal makes sense, I say it.” Anonymously? “Sometimes it’s a little faster to talk off the record.” Huh?
— Liz Benjamin (@CTLizB) June 25, 2015
A source close to Jon Campbell says that press conference was quite something.
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) June 25, 2015
Many of the political reporters watching Cuomo’s press conference — including Sally Goldenberg, Ryan Hutchins, Jimmy Vielkind, Liz Benjamin, Berth Fertig, and more — wrote on Twitter that they believed Cuomo had admitted he was the unnamed person quoted in the Daily News.
However, Cuomo’s communications director, Melissa DeRosa, told Business Insider “nope” when asked if the governor had confirmed it was him.
For his part, when de Blasio was asked about the controversy, he reportedly declined to comment and said he was focusing on the policy issues at hand.
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