On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign after a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James that the governor sexually harassed 11 women.
Biden told reporters at the White House, “He should resign.”
The President isn’t alone either – other powerful Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and a host of other national and New York state politicians – have called for Cuomo to resign.
Cuomo has so far remained defiant, refusing to resign and claiming that his behavior was all above board.
Biden said at the White House on Tuesday, “I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach, I do not know that for a fact.”
Not long after Biden’s statement, Democratic New York State House Speaker Carl Heastie announced an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo.
Attorney General James’ report, which is 165 pages and features interviews with 179 witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of documents, represents four months long investigation that concluded that Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James said.
Yet, incredibly, James also said she was not charging Cuomo.
Cuomo continued to deny the allegations, and said other incidents were merely a misunderstanding.
“First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo said on Tuesday after the report was made available.
“I am 63 years old,” Cuomo declared. “I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view.”
He added, “That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
Regarding accuser and former aide Charlotte Bennett, Cuomo admitted that he “did ask her questions I don’t normally ask people” — including about her romantic life.
Cuomo said he was “truly and deeply sorry” for his unprofessional comments but also said she “heard things I just didn’t say.”
Cuomo’s denial also included a long document which featured images of himself and President Biden hugging and touching people.
Perhaps the most talked-about part of the whole affair – Cuomo defended himself by saying he touches everyone’s face.
He even came prepared with a video slideshow.
Of the face-touching, Cuomo said, “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.”
When the sexual harassment accusations came to light in March, President Biden at the time said Cuomo would need to step down if they were valid allegations.
“I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too,” Biden told ABC News in a March 16 interview.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, “I don’t know that anyone could have watched [James’ press conference] this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent— I know I certainly did.”
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