New York governor tells Speaker Johnson to stay out of Columbia tumult

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is criticizing Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) visit to Columbia University, arguing he’s only exacerbating divisions by showing up to speak with Jewish students.

“I think politicizing this and bringing the entourage to put a spotlight on this is only adding to the division,” Hochul told reporters, per Politico. “A Speaker worth the title should really be trying to heal people and not divide them, so I don’t think it adds to anything.”

Hochul said Johnson would be better off taking up the bipartisan border security bill that, she said, would help deal with the ongoing situation involving migrants in the state of New York.

“It seems to me there’s a lot more responsibilities and crises to be dealt with in Washington,” Hochul said. “I’d encourage the Speaker to go back and perhaps take up the migrant bill, the bill to deal with closing the borders, so we can deal with the real crisis that New York has.”

Republicans have been blasting the presidents of several elite East Coast schools for months over their handling of protests and the protection of Jewish students.

New York’s House delegation this week called for the resignation of Columbia’s president.

Protests on the school’s campus have led Columbia to cancel in-person classes through the rest of the school term.

“Speaker Johnson is going to speak to students at Columbia University because Governor Hochul and other officials in New York have completely failed in their duty to protect Jewish students and combat the rise of antisemitism in their party,” a spokesperson from the speaker’s office said in a statement. “We wish it weren’t necessary.”

Updated at 4:32 p.m.

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