Cuomo defends 'offhand' #MeToo joke about being assaulted

Cuomo defends 'offhand' #MeToo joke about being assaulted
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday defended a "Me Too" joke he made Wednesday, saying it was an "offhand comment."

Cuomo said he was trying to get reporters "to move back" when he was surrounded by a press gaggle on Wednesday. Cuomo told reporters that he needed space, adding that he would "bring you all up on charges under the 'Me Too' movement." 

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"You know, I walked out into the hallway, and I was assaulted by the gaggle with pieces of equipment hitting me in all sorts of my anatomy," Cuomo said in a radio interview, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. "It was an offhand comment just to get them to move back."

Jon Campbell, a reporter with the Democrat & Chronicle, wrote Thursday on Twitter that Cuomo was "absolutely not" assaulted by the gaggle.

Cuomo also said during the radio interview Thursday that reporters "come in a crush and literally get in your physical space."

"You know how it works," Cuomo said. "When they come in a crush and literally get in your physical space and they have cameras and microphones and tape recorders and — it’s, they just physically confront you."

Leah Hebert, a co-founder of the Albany-based Sexual Harassment Working Group, wrote Thursday on Twitter that Cuomo's comment to the gaggle was "disgusting behavior."

"This is not leadership. This disgusting behavior keeps victims silent and allows perpetrators to thrive. For years we’ve been forced to just smile and take it, be a 'team player', and laugh at our own expense. Albany needs to hear d that starts with ," Hebert tweeted.