New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant Friday: Politicians asking for his resignation based on multiple allegations of sexual harassment were acting based on “opinions.”
The comments came as the majority of New York Democrats in the House of Representatives, including high-profile figures like Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Patrick Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Cuomo’s resignation. Cuomo said Friday that he would not resign, then took aim at Democrats asking him to.
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” Cuomo said on a press call. “The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance. That, my friends, is politics at its worst.”
“Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure. But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth.”
Cuomo was absolute in his denial of the allegations: “Never harassed anyone, I never abused anyone, I never assaulted anyone, and I never would.”
“Now,” he continued, “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.” The governor said he’d taken pictures with people who were “stand-offish or something.”
Multiple women who’ve worked with or encountered Cuomo have accused him of sexual harassment. On Wednesday, the Albany Times Union reported on the claims of an unnamed woman who told colleagues that Cuomo had groped her when they were alone in the governor’s mansion. Cuomo singled out that report before ending Friday’s call.
“The last allegation is not true,” he said. “I have not had a sexual relationship that is inappropriate, period.”
On Thursday, the New York State Assembly gave its Judiciary Committee authority to investigate the allegations against Cuomo. And New York Attorney General Letitia James has appointed two high-powered lawyers to probe the claims. Cuomo said Friday that he would cooperate with the probes and believed their findings would vindicate him.
“I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives, but I can tell, as a former attorney general who’s gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making an allegation, and that is why you need to know the facts before you make a decision,” he said.
The governor, who serves as chair of the National Governors Association and is also the son of New York’s 52nd governor, said he believed that “part of this is that I am not part of the political club.”