President Donald Trump said Friday that his decision to change his official residency from New York to Florida was about respect and not taxes – even though he continued to complain at length about how much he’s paid to New York City and the state.
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“They haven't treated me properly," he told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Mississippi. "I pay millions of taxes. Millions and millions of dollars in New York and they've never treated me, you know, since I became president, they just haven't treated, I think the office with the kind of respect,” he said.
He then added: “I don't mind paying the taxes. New York is a very expensive place to live.”
The president went on to take a swipe at the city he’s long called home, saying “many bad things” are happening there and referred reporters to the “statement” he said he had just put out -- a seeming reference to tweets he fired off shortly before coming out to the South Lawn.
....in New York, and another reason they are leaving. Taxes and energy costs are way too high, Upstate is being allowed to die as other nearby states frack & drill for Gold (oil) while reducing taxes & creating jobs by the thousands. NYC is getting dirty & unsafe again, as....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
.....with a President and Federal Government that wants our wonerful City and State to flourish and thrive. I Love New York!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
Trump confirmed late Thursday night that after being a lifetime New Yorker, he had changed his official residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump, who was born in the New York borough of Queens and who for decades has lived at his Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, signed a "declaration of domicile" in Palm Beach County, Florida, last month, in which he listed Trump Tower as his former home and the Mar-a-Lago Club, his resort in southern Florida, as his primary residence.
His wife, first lady Melania Trump, made the same declaration earlier this month; both forms were processed by Palm Beach County on Oct. 4.
The couple listed two other "places of abode" on their forms: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington -- the address of the White House -- and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jeresey, where the president likes to spend weekends and summer vacations.
In a series of tweets Thursday night, after the New York Times first reported the changes, the president said that he cherished New York "and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state." Trump has not released his tax returns, so it is not possible to fact check that claim.
"I hated having to make ... this decision," he wrote, "but in the end it will be best for all concerned. As President, I will always be there to help New York and the great people of New York. It will always have a special place in my heart!"
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence. I cherish New York, and the people of.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
New York's Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, said he was glad Trump was gone.
"Good riddance," Cuomo said in a statement. "It's not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway. He's all yours, Florida."
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in an interview with Fox News on Friday called Cuomo's comments "petty" and "silly."
Florida would likely provide tax benefits to the president, as it does for other wealthy New Yorkers who have made the move to the Sunshine State. The state has no income or inheritance taxes, while New York state's top income tax rate is 8.82% and New York City's top rate is 3.876%.
The move could have political implications as well. Trump won Florida, where he has repeatedly campaigned, by a narrow margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the swing state seen as crucial for his 2020 re-election hopes.
While state prosecutors in New York have been locked in a legal battle to obtain the president's tax returns, in Florida, the first couple has found a generally warmer reception from state and local officials. Florida's governor is Republican, as are both of its U.S. senators.
The change in residence was not expected to have an impact on the Manhattan district attorney's quest to obtain Trump's tax returns. It was unclear if it would have any impact on other lawsuits or investigations against the president in New York.
ABC News' Chad Murray and Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.