Mayor Adams, who once called himself the “Biden of Brooklyn,” was not scheduled to join President Biden on Tuesday in New York City, potentially marking another low point in the relationship between the two moderate Democrats.
Biden, who arrived in the city on Sunday and was expected to return to Washington on Wednesday, has been criticized by Adams and Gov. Hochul over the White House’s handling of the city’s migrant crisis.
But Hochul, who has used gentler language than Adams in calling out the White House, confirmed she would meet with Biden on Tuesday night.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the president this evening,” Hochul, a moderate Democrat, said at a news conference in Manhattan. “We’ll see what the topics surround.”
Earlier in the day, Adams brushed off questions about whether he would meet with Biden by telling reporters to check his public schedule.
“We release a public schedule,” the mayor said. “Everybody knows where I am. You guys know where I am all the time. We release if we’re going to be with the president or not.”
Adams, who received a pep talk from Biden after delivering a major speech early in his mayoralty, now appears to hardly be on speaking terms with the president. Last month, Adams told CNN he had not spoken with Biden in 2023, though he said Tuesday he spoke with the president “earlier this year.”
As the workday ended, no appearance with Biden had materialized on Adams’ packed public agenda. Instead, in a royally curious twist, the mayor’s office added a rendezvous with Prince William onto the schedule in the afternoon.
About 3 p.m., City Hall released a notice saying that Adams would meet with William about 30 minutes later at the fire station house by Ground Zero. The meeting between the mayor and the prince was called off shortly after it was scheduled to begin.
Asked if Adams had met with the prince of Wales, the mayor’s spokesman Fabien Levy said in a text: “No.”
A royal family representative walking around the press pen at the firehouse said William had decided to go on the recommendation of Adams’ office.
The Royal Family’s London press office said by phone that it had no information about a possible meeting between William and Adams. William was in the city on Tuesday and visited the United Nations. He said he started his day with a run in Central Park.
Biden made the trip up to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, and any meeting between him and the mayor would be closely watched. Adams said in the spring that Biden had “failed” the city on the migrant crisis.
Soon after, Biden’s reelection campaign dropped Adams from its team of campaign surrogates. At the time, Adams insisted that his relationship with the president remained a “good one.”
“I like him,” Adams said in May. “And I think he likes me.”
Hochul is a member of the surrogate squad.
In late August, Hochul visited the White House to appeal for more migrant aid, emerging with what she described as much-needed but insufficient commitments. Biden did not meet with her during the visit.
On Tuesday, the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.
More than 110,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York since spring 2022, and about 60,000 remain in the city’s care. The population of the city-run shelter system doubled in a single year, according to city data.
Adams and Hochul have pushed the federal government to expedite work papers for asylum seekers, and to send more support to New York. Hochul has said she is considering the extraordinary move of issuing state work permits to migrants — potentially without signoff from the White House, which has frowned on such an endeavor.
Adams and Hochul have had their own differences over the crisis, but have stayed chummy in public appearances.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Adams said he hoped Biden understood the challenge the crisis has posed for New York, noting that it could cost the city $12 billion over two budgetary cycles. Many migrants have been living in makeshift shelters the city has built.
“And so while he’s here, I think that they should really reflect,” Biden said of White House officials. “This is just wrong — what we’re doing to New York City residents and what we’re doing to aslyum seekers.”
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