NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump ordered the federal government to begin the process of defunding Democratic-run cities, claiming officials running cities like New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle and Portland allowed "lawless" protests.
The president said his administration "will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses."
The five-page memo obtained by ABC News orders all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget that lay out funds how can be redirected.
The move would jeopardize billions of dollars in aid that could be used to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Trailing in the polls, the president has been eager to change the subject casting himself as the law and order candidate.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Trump's actions a political stunt. In a scathing statement Wednesday night, Cuomo said from the point of view of NYC, Trump is the worst president in history amid his threats to defund the city.
"I think it's because he is from New York City and New York City rejected him always," Cuomo said. "He was dismissed as a clown in New York City."
"Look, the best thing he did for New York City was leave," he continued. "Good riddance, let him go to Florida, be careful not to get COVID."