ALBANY -- President Donald Trump on Friday talked about how the nation can more quickly improving its infrastructure — and he criticized his experiences with New York government at the state Capitol.
The mention was the second time this week the president has used his home state as an example to discuss his plans to bolster the state's roads and bridges. Earlier this week, he highlighted the perseverance of then-Gov.
DeWitt Clinton to build the Erie Canal in the 1800s.
This time, though, the comparison was less glowing.
Trump knocked how in New York he had to hire consultants for his building projects as a way to get the work approved in Albany.
"You can’t get approvals. And therein, in the case of New York, Albany," Trump said during a speech at the federal Department of Transportation in Washington.
"They go to Albany, the state capital, or here they go to Washington, for federal. And they want to make it really tough because that way you have to hire them. It’s a terrible thing."
President Donald Trump waves after speaking on infrastructure at the Department of Transportation, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Washington. (Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)
Trump said that private companies having to hire consultants to win government support is one of the things he wants to change — so projects can get completed more quickly and less expensively.
"Why should we continue to accept what is clearly unacceptable, often times for consultants who are making a fortune because you can’t do anything without hiring them, paying them a tremendous amount of money," Trump said.
Indeed, New York is a bastion for special interests. A report Thursday showed lobbyists in New York raked in $218 million last year, a new record.
Trump, who considered running for governor in 2014 and blasted state government along the way, has had his run-ins with Albany over the years.
In 2000, Trump and his allies agreed to pay $250,000 in fines to the state in a bid to fight casino gambling in the Catskills, which served as a threat at the time to his Atlantic City casinos in New Jersey.