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'He's not a king' - Trump blasted in powers row

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US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

AP

US President Donald Trump

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took to morning TV shows to push back against President Donald Trump's claim of "total" authority to reopen the nation's virus-stalled economy, noting that a president is not an absolute monarch.

"We don't have a king," Mr Cuomo said on NBC's Today.

"We have a president. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king, and George Washington was president, not King Washington. So the president doesn't have total authority."

The Democratic governor, whose state has become the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, was reacting to Mr Trump's assertion that "when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total".

Endanger

"Nope," Mr Cuomo said.

When asked on CNN's New Day what he would do if the Republican president ordered him to reopen New York's economy, Mr Cuomo said: "If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn't do it."