Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a radio interview on Tuesday, urged Democrats in Congress to not provide funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as President Donald Trump has threatened a federal government shutdown over the issue.

“I have three pieces of advice: Don’t give the president the wall, don’t give the president the wall, and don’t give the president the wall. The president wants a wall as a political symbolic metaphor to vindicate his angry, divisive rhetoric in the campaign,” Cuomo said in the interview on WAMC. “That’s what he means by the wall. That’s why during the campaign, I said he wants to build walls, we want to build bridges. He wants to separate people, he wants to divide people. We want to connect people.”

Trump met in the Oval Office on Tuesday with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become the new speaker of the House of Representatives in January. The meeting devolved into an at-times heated exchange over funding for the wall and border security.



“If the president was being more genuine and less political, he should have asked for border security, which is correct,” Cuomo said in the interview, which was conducted before the Oval Office meeting.

“You can’t have a controlled border entrance if you don’t have controlled points on the border where people are stopped from coming in. So, if he was reasonable and said look I want to make sure we have border security and we bring in a private firm and whatever it is, it’s lasers, it’s light beams, cameras, some places of fences, maybe even some places a wall. But that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying I want a political monument to division. And their answer must be no.”