TODAY'S PAPER

Trump chicken appears at protest over Cuomo’s campaign contributions

Protesters outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office on Monday demanded he return $64,000 in campaign contributions from Donald Trump. / Charles Eckert

A giant inflatable chicken that looks remarkably like President Donald Trump stood outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office on Monday as protesters demanded the governor return campaign contributions he received from Trump nearly a decade ago.

The protesters attempted to deliver more than 7,000 petitions from New Yorkers urging Cuomo to return the money before the state’s primary on Sept. 13, but organizers were rebuffed by cops outside of his Third Avenue office. A staff member with Cuomo’s office did take the petitions, but protesters weren’t allowed to enter the building, according to one of the organizers.

Before his presidential bid, Trump had given about $64,000 in contributions to Cuomo’s political campaigns. The most recent donation was in 2009, when Cuomo was New York attorney general.

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Protest organizers called the contributions “tainted cash” and said Cuomo was too chicken to return the money.

The governor reiterated on Monday that he has no intention of giving the money back and that doing so would only help Trump and hurt New York.

A police officer prevents New York Communities for Change member Cynthia Norris, center, from delivering thousands of petitions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Monday.

“Why would I do that? I am using the money to defeat Donald Trump,” Cuomo said while speaking at an unrelated event in the city. “ . . . Why I would ever give back a campaign contribution he gave me 10 years ago rather than spend that money to defeat him and his sexist, racist, bigoted policies makes no sense to me.”

In July, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Cynthia Nixon released a Facebook ad that criticized Cuomo over the donations, and in doing so called into question the governor’s position as a leader opposed to Trump and his agenda.

Cuomo said instead of returning the money, it could be used to help elect a Democratic majority in Congress and “stop this madman who’s in Washington.”

This is not the first time the Trump chicken has appeared in New York City. The bird and its golden coifed hair was the symbol of the Tax March in April 2017, when protesters were calling on Trump to release his tax returns.

With Yancey Roy

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