New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is digging his heels against calls for his resignation grow amid sexual harassment allegations and an impeachment inquiry from state lawmakers.
During a bizarre Friday afternoon press conference, Cuomo quickly ran through covid-19 updates before addressing claims of misconduct, insisting that “people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and telling the truth.”
“Serious allegations should be made seriously,” Cuomo said. “There are facts and there are opinions, and I’ve always separated the two.”
He also said, “What is being alleged just did not happen.
In the last several weeks, six women have accused Cuomo of sexually inappropriate behavior, ranging from groping and unwanted kisses to questions about sex and dating. The latest was reported by the Albany Times Union on Wednesday: A former aide alleges that Cuomo “aggressively groped her in a sexually charged manner after she had been summoned to the Executive Mansion.” Cuomo specifically referenced this allegation during the presser, insisting that it wasn’t true and that he never had a “sexual relationship that was inappropriate, period.”
“It’s very simple,” Cuomo said. “I never harassed anyone, I never abused anyone, I never assaulted anyone... and I never would, right? Now, is it possible that I have taken a picture with a person who after the fact says they were uncomfortable with the pose in the picture? Yes. And that’s what you’re hearing about. I have taken thousands of pictures, I’ve never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, awkward.”
This was an unveiled potshot at the growing number of elected officials calling for his resignation. Several state assembly members and 29 Democratic state senators are calling for Cuomo to resign or step aside. And now, members of the United States Congress representing New York have joined them. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman released a joint statement saying, “We believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature. Rep. Jerry Nadler also released a statement calling for Cuomo’s resignation, writing that, “Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York.”
In his borderline Trumpian address, Cuomo suggested that the allegations are part of an ulterior motive.
“I won’t speculate on people’s possible motives, but I can tell you, as a former attorney general who has gone through this situation many times... there are often many motivations for making an allegation. And that’s why you need to know the facts before making an accusation.”
Cuomo pressed that he has more important things to worry about, like vaccine distribution and the state budget. He conveniently left out something else hanging over his head: Reports that his administration deliberately undercounted the number of covid-19 deaths in New York nursing homes at the beginning of the pandemic.
But woe is Cuomo, whose narcissism was on full display throughout the presser.
“My entire life, I’ve been under public scrutiny... since I was 23 years old,” Cuomo said. “Wait for the facts, then you can have an opinion... an opinion without facts is irresponsible.”