NEW YORK – Gov. Andrew Cuomo questioned Sunday why state Republicans would have invited the founder of a far-right group to speak in Manhattan, and he blamed them and President Donald Trump for violent clashes that took place after the speech.
In a conference call with reporters, the Democratic governor called the invitation to Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club a “Political tactic because what they’re trying to do is fire up their base” ahead of the midterm elections.
“Why would the Republican Party at their main club invite the Proud Boys?” Cuomo asked, pointing out that they have been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Proud Boys is made up of males who describe themselves as “Western chauvinists.”
The state Republican Party called Cuomo’s comments “Outrageous.”
The Republican Club had been vandalized ahead of the speech, with officials saying the damage included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue. Three people have been arrested, but elected officials were outraged over videos posted online of the violence, saying they showed Proud Boys members were involved and should face consequences.