Donald Trump indirectly provided “an assignment” to New York Republicans on Thursday: kick Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo out of office.
Ed Cox, chair of the New York GOP, told an audience of state party members at the Loews Madison Hotel that the president-elect provided the mandate in a phone call. The assignment wasn’t specific: He didn’t mention Paul Massey, the real estate broker who plans to run on the Republican ticket and has already raised $1.6 million for his campaign. After Thursday’s event, Cox told The Real Deal that his organization is yet to choose a candidate to back. He said he’s sure that indictments against de Blasio will eventually materialize, and that the party is waiting to see what happens before launching their full-scale opposition.
Cox made the statement at a Republican powwow in Washington D.C., one of many events planned in the lead up to the presidential inauguration. Newt Gingrich headlined the event, delivering a speech that praised Trump and blasted the media.
“No one in the news media could watch “The Apprentice” because it wasn’t on PBS and it didn’t follow ‘Downton Abbey,'” the former Speaker of the House said. He described the media as incompetent in its coverage of the Russian dossier, a compilation of documents that allegedly detailed Trump’s ties to Russia. Referencing one component of the documents, which accused a Trump organization executive of being a Russian spy, Gingrich said that an “intern” could’ve called Michael Cohen, vice president of the Trump Organization, and found out that he’d never been to the Czech Republic (though he only referred to Cohen as a “certain person”).
At one point Gingrich compared Trump to a table, saying each leg individually stood on “anti-idiocy, anti-politically correct, anti-left and deeply, passionately American.”
New York Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan then took the stage and compared the room’s excitement to that usually reserved for Santa Claus. He noted that unlike his opponent, Trump was born in New York.
“I have never seen the barrage the insults, the vitriol, the hyperbole that has been directed at a person who is not even in office yet,” he said. “Donald Trump is our president, he’s from New York, and we need to support him.”