New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) got here out punching throughout a information convention Tuesday afternoon in response to the state lawyer basic’s investigation that discovered he sexually harassed a minimum of 11 girls throughout his time as governor.
Cuomo outright denied the entire allegations in opposition to him in a 15-minute monologue throughout which members of the media weren’t in a position to ask questions. The governor blamed the investigation’s final result on biased reporting by the lead investigators tapped by state Attorney General Letitia James. Cuomo mentioned the allegations in opposition to him “sought to unfairly characterize and weaponize everyday actions” he’s had with these accusing him of harassment.
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo mentioned. “I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been.”
In a bizarre flip of occasions, Cuomo additionally introduced up that somebody in his household is a survivor of sexual assault. He mentioned he tried to make use of his expertise along with his member of the family to get nearer to Charlotte Bennett, considered one of his accusers who had disclosed to him that she was a survivor of sexual assault.
“The truth is that her story resonated deeply with me,” Cuomo mentioned of Bennett’s story of sexual assault. “I had heard the same story before with the same ugliness, the same injustice, the same damage. Not only had I heard the story before, I had lived the story before. My family member is a survivor of sexual assault in high school. I have watched her live and suffer with the trauma. I would do anything to make it go away for her but it never really goes away.”
The governor remained defiant all through his speech and even went as far as to show a slideshow of him kissing folks’s cheeks so as to present how his alleged interactions with sure girls will not be inappropriate. The slideshow included a photograph of Cuomo’s mom kissing him and one other picture of his father kissing him to indicate that he discovered this interplay from his dad and mom and it’s “meant to convey warmth, nothing more,” the governor mentioned.
“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 mentioned of kissing.
Cuomo went on to counsel that some persons are utilizing “this moment” for politics, publicity and private achieve, and accused them of discrediting different sexual harassment victims.
James mentioned in a Tuesday information convention that Cuomo “sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The lawyer basic’s workplace spoke with 179 folks for the investigation and reviewed greater than 74,000 items of proof, together with emails, texts, images and audio information. The proof painted a “deeply disturbing yet clear picture” that Cuomo sexually harassed feminine workers, lots of whom had been younger girls, James mentioned.
Several lawmakers have already known as for Cuomo’s resignation within the wake of the lawyer basic’s findings. New York state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) mentioned that “the Governor must resign for the good of the state.” Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) urged Cuomo to resign and known as for his arrest, including that Biden should instantly name for the governor’s resignation.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) launched a joint assertion following Cuomo’s information convention calling for the governor to step down.
“The New York State Attorney General has conducted an independent, thorough and professional investigation that found the Governor violated state and federal law, had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of the accusers and created a hostile work environment,” the senators mentioned. “No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign.”
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