Cuomo reverses course, will give back all Weinstein money

Cuomo reverses course, will give back all Weinstein money
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) campaign announced Thursday that it would return all donations from Harvey Weinstein in the wake of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations against the film executive.

The governor originally planned to donate $50,000 that Weinstein and his company contributed to his gubernatorial campaigns, but The New York Times reported that Cuomo had reversed course and would return or give to charity all $110,000 in contributions for previous campaigns.

Cuomo had planned to give the gubernatorial contributions to an unidentified women's group. His move Thursday comes after he faced backlash from Republicans and Democrats for not giving away all of his donations from Weinstein after assault allegations surfaced this week.

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The governor's campaign said in a statement that it was taking “the extraordinary step” of returning all contributions from previous campaigns, according to the Times.

Basil Smikle Jr., the executive director of the state Democratic Party that issued the statement on behalf of Cuomo's campaign, argued such a move was necessary to “dispense with the Republican ploys and focus on the real issues.”

Cuomo had said that returning the campaign donations was a symbolic move, and that the issue at hand is “bigger than Harvey Weinstein," according to the Times. 

“I have three daughters,” the governor said. “I want to make sure at the end of the day, this world is a safer, better world for my three daughters.”

The development comes as accusations against Weinstein continue to surface from major Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale.

Democratic lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan Selling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenElection Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Dem presidential hopefuls seize on Trump border policy MORE (D-Mass.) were quick to announce they would be donating their contributions from Weinstein, a longtime Democratic bundler.

Former President Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton both denounced the movie mogul on Tuesday, five days after the Times first reported on numerous sexual harassment accusations against Weinstein stretching back decades.