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Cuomo responds to Trump: 'Here in New York we actually read the Bible'

Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoGovernors say no additional vaccine doses coming, despite Trump admin promise Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility Cuomo announces performance initiative to revive New York's arts economy MORE (D) responded to President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE’s display of the Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday saying, “Here in New York we actually read the Bible.” 

“The president held up the Bible the other day in Washington, D.C.,” Cuomo said during a Wednesday news conference. “Here in New York we actually read the Bible."

The governor began the press conference by reading verses from the Bible that he said “are especially appropriate for today in this time of where we are,” as protests over the death of George Floyd continue to rock New York City and the country.

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Cuomo first cited Matthew 5:9 which says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

The governor then moved to Mark 3:25, which says, “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

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Cuomo also pointed to Psalms 34:14, “Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace and work to maintain it,” before finally referencing James 3:18: “The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

The governor then moved on to other quotes, including one from Department of Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperBiden needs to fill the leadership gaps on Day One US meets troops reduction goal in Afghanistan, Iraq Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE, who said Wednesday morning that the Insurrection Act should only be used “in the most urgent and dire of situations."  

"We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Esper said, breaking with Trump, who threatened to use the law to deploy the military to cities if governors do not “dominate” protesters.  

The New York governor's comments come after Trump posed for photos in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church while holding a Bible. Shortly before the president walked to the church, protesters were forcibly cleared from Lafayette Square outside of the White House with the use of chemical irritants. 

Several Democrats and some Republicans criticized the removal of the protesters for the photo opportunity including Cuomo, who said the Trump wants to make the demonstrations “a reality TV show of God and country.”

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Protests have broken out across the nation, including in Washington, D.C., and New York City, over the death of Floyd after he died in Minneapolis police custody last week. Video footage of his arrest showed a white officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and became unresponsive.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, and he was fired from the department. 

The other three officers present for Floyd’s arrest have been fired but have not yet been charged, although law enforcement officials told CNN there will be a “significant announcement” possibly regarding additional charges Wednesday afternoon.