Biden Demands Cuomo Resign Over Sexual Harassment Scandal

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: U.S. President Joe Biden departs the White House June 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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August 3, 2021 5:17 p.m.

President Biden demanded that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resign on Monday, after the state’s attorney general issued a scathing report alleging that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple aides.

“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday.

The statement came after a reporter asked whether he was calling on Cuomo to step down.

“Yes,” Biden replied.

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“I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach,” Biden added. “I don’t know that for a fact.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a report on Tuesday that detailed instances of alleged sexual harassment by Cuomo towards eleven different people. She said that the report found behavior which violated state and federal law, including retaliation against Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who first blew the whistle on the alleged harassment.

Cuomo responded to the report later on Tuesday with a video address in which he repeatedly denied the allegations. It also included a montage of the Governor hugging and kissing multiple people.

“I do it with everyone — black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street,” Cuomo said as the video played.

He also attributed his handsiness to his age while suggesting that the offenses weren’t that serious.

“I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek,” Cuomo said. “I now understand that there are generational or cultural perspectives that, frankly, I hadn’t appreciated.”

Cuomo issued the blanket denial, but did not directly address the substantive allegations from the report of staff members accusing him of groping.

Others, like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), reiterated calls on Tuesday for Cuomo to step down, first made in March 2021 when the scandal first broke.

The New York State assembly has now received James’ report, her office said in a statement, and will launch impeachment proceedings.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement that Cuomo should resign, and that an impeachment inquiry would “move expeditiously.”

Democratic candidate and likely next New York City mayor Eric Adams also called on Cuomo to resign on Tuesday.

“James conducted a thorough and revealing investigation,” Adams said in a statement. “It is now the duty of the [Assembly] to take swift and appropriate action and move forward with impeachment proceedings if the Governor will not resign.”

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