The New York Times is calling on New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoZeldin says he's in remission after treatment for leukemia Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight MORE (D) to step down following a state attorney general's report that found he sexually harassed nearly a dozen women, allegations he has denied.
"The stories get worse, and the women who came forward to share them, even in the face of threats of retaliation, as detailed in the report, should be commended for their bravery," the Times editorial board wrote Monday.
"Mr. Cuomo has always had a self-serving streak and been known for his political bullying. He also has used those traits to be an effective politician and, in many of his achievements as governor, won the public’s trust," it wrote.
The revelations contained in the report, that the governor sexually harassed state employees, that he retaliated against women who raised concerns about his behavior and fostered a toxic work environment for employees, has broken that trust, the Times argued.
"As [New York Attorney General Letitia] James said on Tuesday, Mr. Cuomo’s alleged conduct 'corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government,' " the newspaper wrote. "If Mr. Cuomo cares for the well-being of the state and its citizens as much as he has said he does over the years, he needs to do the right thing and step down."
When multiple women first came forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Cuomo in March, the Times voiced its support for an independent investigation into the claims.
"If crimes were committed, they should be fairly adjudicated," the Times wrote at the time. "But the question of the governor’s continued fitness for office is about more than a criminal matter, with different standards."
Several leading Democratic lawmakers and President BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE said at the time that Cuomo should resign if an investigation supported the allegations.
Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill On The Money — Democrats rush to finish off infrastructure MORE (D-Calif) and the entire New York Democratic congressional delegation are now calling for Cuomo to resign following the release of the attorney general's report.
But a defiant Cuomo on Tuesday denied the allegations against him and indicated he does not intend to resign.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said in a video message that featured photos showing him hugging and kissing a number of people during his political career.
“First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," he said. "I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”