De Blasio, Cuomo Can't Agree on Details of Latest Power Struggle

In back-to-back press briefings Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo each touted the power to extend the closure of New York City schools

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Team de Blasio says they gave team Cuomo a heads up Saturday morning that they would be announcing a plan to keep schools closed through the end of the year, but the governor did not indicate he would be throwing water on de Blasio's plan until after the announcement was made, according to City Hall sources.

“We told the Governor what we were doing and did not know this morning going into the news conference that this was going to be an issue," said one de Blasio adviser who asked not to be identified. 

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But a close adviser to Governor Cuomo, also seeking anonymity, says the mayor’s office reached out at 9:25 a.m., just a few minutes before de Blasio’s announcement.  

The Cuomo adviser tells NBC New York the message from the senior City Hall staffer was "that Mayor de Blasio wanted to discuss the issue of school closures with Governor Cuomo, not that he was going to announce it in a few minutes.” 

The Cuomo administration insists the mayor does not have the authority to decide the school calendar, an issue they say must be coordinated regionally by the State.

City Hall insists that despite Cuomo’s dismissal, the mayor has accurately predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic will necessitate school closures through September.

De Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein tweeted, “The Governor’s reaction to us keeping schools closed is reminiscent of how he reacted when the Mayor called for shelter in place. We were right then and we were right now.” 

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