Despite numerous members of his own party calling for his resignation over sexual harassment and assault allegations, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday he refuses to leave office and again denied any wrongdoing.
“Women have a right to come forward and be heard and I encourage them fully,” Cuomo told reporters in a conference call – his briefings are typically televised – though he insisted he never harassed or assaulted anyone as has been alleged.
The governor took aim at the “motivations” of both his six accusers, which include multiple former aides, as well as politicians calling for his resignation.
“I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives…[but] as a former attorney general who’s gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making allegations,” he said.
“You need to know the facts before you make a decision,” he went on, adding that “serious allegations should be weighed seriously, that’s why they are called serious.”
Cuomo said he hoped investigations moved forward “thoroughly and quickly” as he’s confident they will find him innocent of any wrongdoing.
Facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault, as well as accusations of hiding data on the deaths of elderly citizens in group homes from Covid-19, numerous congressional Democrats called on Cuomo to resign in a public letter on Friday before his press briefing, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York) and Jerry Nadler (D-New York).
“As members of the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, we believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” the lawmakers said in their joint statement.
After two accounts of sexual assault, four accounts of harassment, the Attorney General’s investigation finding the Governor’s admin hid nursing home data from the legislature & public, we agree with the 55+ members of the New York State legislature that the Governor must resign. pic.twitter.com/jV5dwtuVPr
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2021
These Democrats join a majority of New York House Democrats also calling on the governor to resign.
Cuomo made abundantly clear, however, on Friday he is not yet going anywhere.
“I’m not going to resign,” he said. “I was not elected by politicians…I’m not part of the political club and I’m proud of that.”
The governor went on to accuse the politicians calling for him to resign of “playing politics” and “bowing to cancel culture” pressure.
The latest misconduct allegation against Cuomo broke this week from an unidentified woman who said Cuomo summoned her to his quarters at the Executive Mansion to fix his cellphone, but he allegedly ended up reaching under her blouse and groping her. The governor has said this alleged incident is “not true.”
That particular allegation has been referred to the Albany Police Department.
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