President Trump is returning to the city tomorrow for the first time since his inauguration.
He'll be at an event honoring surviving veterans of a key World War II naval battle.
Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio say they are not attending — but aren't telling the full story of their invitations to the event.
A bit of context. The Battle of the Coral Sea was a pivotal time in the Pacific Theater. It happened just months after Pearl Harbor, and it is seen as turning the tide against the Japanese and preventing the capture of Australia.
Ten U.S. Navy enlisted men died in the Coral Sea.
The United States and Australian forces fought together, and that is bringing the president and the Australian prime minister to the Intrepid Thursday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, in particular, rarely misses an opportunity to criticize Trump. But the mayor said Monday he wasn't invited. And Cuomo also told us Wednesday he's not attending.
"I don't feel slighted," Cuomo said. "Sometimes, I feel slighted by the press, but besides that, and it happens that I've gotten over that, and I don't even know what the events are tomorrow."
But two days after the White House said Trump would attend, an event that prompted major headlines, the governor's director of scheduling wrote to event organizers, "On behalf of the Governor, I regret to inform you that his schedule will not permit him to attend."
And the mayor's office wrote to organizers Tuesday, "Unfortunately the Mayor will not be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict."
Remember, Monday, in explaining on NY1 why he believed he was not invited, the mayor mistakenly said that the White House organized the event.
"The White House organized that event. If they invite me in my role as mayor, I would respect that," de Blasio told NY1.
The event's real organizer, a former ambassador under President Barack Obama and official in the Clinton White House, rejects de Blasio's claim while saying Cuomo was also invited.
"That is inaccurate," said Ambassador John Berry, president of the American Australian Association. "The invitations were sent, and we've been informed by their staff that neither are coming."
"There should be no differences when it comes to people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and we'll be honoring those who couldn't be with us tomorrow night because they lost lives. Over 500 brave men lost their lives 75 years ago in this battle."
The governor's spokeswoman emails, "The American Australian Association invited the governor to its dinner - at which the president’s attendance was not confirmed – and unfortunately it did not work for his schedule."
The mayor's spokesman emails, "When we made the decision not to attend, the president had nothing to do with the event, and the White House never invited the mayor when the president decided to go to the event. Our response wouldn’t have changed had we known he would be there."
Ambassador Barry says the invitation is still open.