Schumer: Allegations against Cuomo 'serious, very troubling'

Schumer: Allegations against Cuomo 'serious, very troubling'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday called sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Arizona recount to show Trump's loss by even wider margin Former co-worker accuses Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment in NYT essay NY health chief criticized over state's COVID-19 response resigns MORE (D) "very troubling" but stopped short of calling for Cuomo's resignation.

"Look, the allegations that have been made by Ms. Ruch and Ms. Boylan and Ms. Bennett are serious, very troubling. These women have to be listened to. I've always believed that sexual harassment is not acceptable, must not be tolerated," Schumer said when asked if he believed Cuomo should resign.

Cuomo is facing growing calls to step down, including from one member of his state's congressional delegation, amid growing claims of unwanted advances and improper behavior with women. 

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New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) said Monday she would move forward with starting a probe into the allegations against Cuomo after receiving a referral letter from his office.

Schumer, on Tuesday, said that he had faith in James's investigation, noting that he had previously supported calls for an inquiry. 

"I know the attorney general will conduct a thorough investigation that will be totally, totally independent without any interference, outside interference, political or otherwise," Schumer said.

This isn't the first time Democrats have had to deal with accusations of unwanted touching by a member of their own caucus. They faced similar questions when then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame MORE (D-Minn.) faced several such accusations in 2017.

Several female Democratic senators publicly urged Franken to resign. Schumer also personally met with Franken at the time and urged him to step down. 

Asked if there was a "double standard" in how Schumer was responding to the allegations against Cuomo versus how Democrats handled the allegations against Franken, Schumer pointed back to the attorney general investigation. 

"Look, the bottom line is ... I have a great deal of faith in the attorney general's investigation," he said.

Asked if he was surprised at the allegations, Schumer reiterated that he has "faith" in the investigation.