“It was clear that Donald Trump the businessman considered Andrew Cuomo a friend,” said Mr. Caputo, describing a “genuine affection.” (Mr. Stone, a third adviser, recalled that Mr. Trump had a generally “low opinion” of Mr. Cuomo.)
Notably, while Mr. Trump has for years thrashed New York Democrats on Twitter — Eliot Spitzer, Anthony D. Weiner, Eric T. Schneiderman, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, among them — he has hardly unleashed on Mr. Cuomo until recent days. (The cable-obsessed Mr. Trump tweeted more often about Chris Cuomo, the CNN host and Mr. Cuomo’s younger brother.)
In 2016, Mr. Cuomo campaigned vocally for Hillary Clinton, though he and Mr. Trump crossed paths at a Sept. 11 memorial event, where cameras caught them chatting. “We get along very well,” Mr. Trump explained in a radio interview that week.
Trump ‘Knows New York’
They spoke again the day after Mr. Trump’s victory over Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Cuomo said that day that Mr. Trump’s election could prove a “bonus.” “He knows New York, he knows the challenges,” Mr. Cuomo said.
They met in person at Trump Tower shortly before the president’s inauguration, a meeting Mr. Cuomo, who was pressing for federal support for infrastructure projects, described as “not adversarial.”
Asked in the lobby afterward if they had “chewed the fat” like two guys from Queens, Mr. Cuomo replied, “Maybe two people with Queens accents, but we never chewed the fat.”
Mr. Trump alluded to another private call last week, when he said Mr. Cuomo had pledged, “I’ll never run for president against you.” Mr. Trump had recounted the same private commitment from Mr. Cuomo about a year earlier, according to a person who heard it directly from him.