New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) told a female reporter that her question about sexual misconduct in his administration was a "disservice to women," arguing that her question missed a larger societal context.

Asked by New York State Public Radio's capitol bureau chief Karen DeWitt what his administration would do to combat sexual misconduct in the workplace, Cuomo instead turned the question around and asked what journalists, including DeWitt, were doing to combat similar problems exposed in the news business.


"When you say, 'It's state government,' you do a disservice to women, with all due respect, even though you're a woman,' " Cuomo told DeWitt.

"You have it going on in journalism," Cuomo added. "What are you going to do differently?"

Both DeWitt and another reporter responded that her initial question was about misconduct in state government.

"No, it's about you, and journalism," Cuomo said, pointing to one of the reporters. "And you, and journalism," he added, pointing to DeWitt. "And it's about state government. And it's about carpentry."

DeWitt responded by asking if Cuomo's administration will implement changes to combat misconduct.

"We will have policies, obviously, that will affect state government, but I think you missed the point," he replied.

The exchange comes after a former senior aide to Cuomo, Sam Hoyt, was accused of sexually assaulting another former state employee. He is also accused of paying the employee, Lisa Marie Cater, $50,000 for her silence.

Cuomo is running for a third term as New York's governor in 2018. He's also being floated as a potential Democratic presidential contender in 2020.