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Cuomo blasts reporter’s company after question on donations

August 1, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized a reporter’s employer Tuesday after the journalist asked about political contributions from a company under federal investigation, leading challenger Cynthia Nixon to accuse her political rival of harboring “Trumpian” animosity toward the press.

NY1 reporter Zack Fink asked the Democrat if he’s considering returning $400,000 linked to Crystal Run Healthcare, which later received millions of dollars in state funding. The company is now under federal investigation.

After briefly responding to the question Cuomo went after NY1′s parent company at length, noting the state recently revoked its approval of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable’s merger for allegedly not meeting its promises when it comes to high-speed broadband access. Regulators also ordered the company to hand over its operations in New York to another provider.

“So you are defrauding the people of this state,” Cuomo told Fink. “That’s a fraud.”

Fink works for the company’s news division and does not have any involvement in Charter’s broadband expansion. A Charter spokesman said Wednesday that the company stands by its news coverage of Cuomo and the state.

Nixon, the political activist and former “Sex and the City” star challenging Cuomo in next month’s Democratic Primary, likened Cuomo’s remarks to Republican President Donald Trump’s attacks on journalists.

“Cuomo can’t hold himself up as New York’s answer to Donald Trump, and simultaneously threaten members of the press for doing their job,” Nixon said. “The Governor owes NY1′s Zack Fink an apology. He was doing exactly what the free press is supposed to do. He was holding a powerful public official accountable for taking sketchy donations.”

Cuomo declined to say whether he would return the Crystal Run donations. Asked about the governor’s comments to the reporter, Rich Azzopardi, the governor’s spokesman, said “Zack has covered the governor for years and we respect his work.”

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