De Blasio: WH Attack on Schumer ‘Outrageous’
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the recent White House’s attack on Senator Chuck Schumer – after he criticized the administration over proposed anti-terror funding cuts – “inappropriate” and “outrageous.”
“I find it outrageous for Josh Earnest to attack Senator Schumer,” de Blasio said during an interview on WNYC with Brian Lehrer on Friday.
On Wednesday, Schumer called the proposed 2017 budget — which reduces funding to the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) from $600 million in 2016 to $330 million in 2017 — a “punch in the gut” to local law enforcement on anti-terror missions. “UASI is the lifeblood of New York’s anti-terror programs and funds the massive terror prevention program for downtown Manhattan and its expansion into Times Square and Midtown,” Schumer told reporters at a press conference alongside NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton in New York.“The president, in general, has been very good on security, but this is a serious mistake.”
Almost immediately, the White House fired back, pointing to Schumer’s voting record on the issue and highlighting his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. “I will just say that at some point, Senator Schumer’s credibility in talking about national security issues — particularly when the facts are as they are when it relates to homeland security — have to be affected by the position that he’s taken on other issues,” White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest told reporters during a daily press briefing. “Senator Schumer is somebody that came out and opposed the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He was wrong about that position. And most Democrats agreed — disagreed with him in taking that position.”
New York Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday that the White House’s proposed cuts and follow-up comments may be “political payback” against Senator Schumer for voting against the Iran deal.
“What the hell does the Iran deal have to do with this issue?” Bratton said, according to Politico NY. “That’s politics. So basically, what the White House has done is tip their hand — this might be political payback against Senator Schumer for a vote he made a while back. That should have nothing to do with the issue at hand, which is terrorism and the threat to this city. So by bringing that into the discussion — well, politics.”
Mayor de Blasio echoed Bratton in his comments on Friday. “You know what, we said at the press conference, Senator Schumer, Commissioner Bratton and I — we commended the Obama administration, historically, for their efforts against terror. And I was with the Obama administration on the Iran treaty,” the NYC Mayot told WNYC’s Lehrer. “But to impugn Senator Schumer, who’s been incredibly effective leader and clearly has been a powerful voice for protecting this city and this state nationally, I found that outrageous. Senator Schumer is doing the right thing here.”