Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks about the latest allegations.
Source: New York State
A combative New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, refused to step down Friday, arguing that calls from a growing number of Democratic lawmakers he dismissed over a sexual harassment scandal were “ruthless and dangerous” for ignorance of the facts.
“I didn’t do what was claimed, period,” Cuomo told reporters. “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but still form a conclusion and then an opinion are, in my opinion, ruthless and dangerous.”
“I’ve never molested anyone, I’ve never attacked anyone, I’ve never abused anyone,” said the three-time Democratic governor after suggesting that the women who complained about him had some motivation to lie. He didn’t say what that motivation could be.
He also said, “I haven’t had an inappropriate sexual relationship.”
“I will not resign,” said Cuomo. “I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”
Several women, including three former aides, say Cuomo sexually molested them, while a fourth woman, who currently works for Cuomo, reportedly told superiors that he aggressively fumbled under her blouse at the governor’s mansion.
Other women said he touched her and talked to her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable.
A majority of the Democratic members of the US House of Representatives from New York districts called on Cuomo to resign on Friday.
Those calls came a day after nearly 60 Democratic members of the state assembly called for the governor’s resignation and after the Democratic Assembly spokesman approved an impeachment investigation into Cuomo’s behavior towards women and a cover-up of data related to care home deaths in Covid.
“The repeated allegations against the governor and the way in which he responded to them made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point,” wrote Justice Justice Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., on twitter. “Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Cuomo said these calls were premature at best.
“Politicians take positions for all sorts of reasons, including political expediency and bowing to pressure,” he said. “But people know the difference between playing politics, bowing to break culture, and the truth.”
“I also want to be clear. There is still a question of the truth,” Cuomo told reporters when he denied touching anyone inappropriately, as several women have claimed.
“I’m not going to speculate on people’s possible motives, but I can tell you the former [state] Attorney General, who has been through this situation many times, there are often many reasons to make an allegation and so you need to know the facts before making a decision, “he said.
The governor noted that there are now two reviews of the allegations: one overseen by Attorney General Letitia James and the other the congregation’s impeachment investigation.
“Nobody wants them to go faster and more thorough than me. Let them do it,” said Cuomo. “I’m not going to discuss this issue in the press. That’s not how it is done. It shouldn’t be done that way.”
“Serious allegations should be weighed seriously, right? That is why they are labeled serious,” he said. “To be serious, you need the facts before you come to a conclusion. How do you come to a conclusion before you know the facts?”