Biden calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign after Attorney General says he sexually harassed aides

President says he stands by previous remarks stating Cuomo should leave office if state AG corroborates allegations

John Bowden
Tuesday 03 August 2021 22:44
Biden calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign after Attorney General says he sexually harassed aides
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President Joe Biden has called on New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, to resign following a report from the state’s attorney general finding that he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, including current and former aides.

Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins whether he stood by his previous promise to call for the governor to resign if the allegations he faces were judged by authorities to be credible, the president responded in the affirmative.

“I stand by those comments,” the president said of his remarks earlier this year. When asked if he was specifically saying Mr Cuomo should resign, he responded: “Yes”.

“I’m not going to flyspeck this. I’m sure there were some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently, the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t.”

Mr Biden added later in the press conference that he had not spoken with Mr Cuomo since the report was released earlier on Tuesday.

The governor said on Tuesday at a press conference that he would not resign, calling the allegations of more than 10 women far from the truth despite the investigation from state officials, led by an attorney general from his own party, finding otherwise.

He also displayed a bizarre video montage of him closely embracing both women and men as a means of his own defence, attempting to show that he typically touches all people in such a manner.

The New York Democrat is now likely to face impeachment proceedings brought by members of his own party, who said on Tuesday that they were preparing the legislation.

“[T]he investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women”, said Letitia James, the state AG, at her news conference on Tuesday.

Her investigation’s findings prompted numerous calls for the governor’s ouster, including from both the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate as well as numerous state lawmakers and other prominent Democratic figures.

In March, Mr Biden was asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos whether Mr Cuomo should resign “if the investigation confirms the claims of more women”.

“Yes”, responded Mr Biden. “I think he'll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”

Weeks earlier, the governor had acknowledged that some of his words and actions may have made women uncomfortable, while claiming that he never harassed or assaulted anybody.

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” said the governor in February.

He added: “To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to.”

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