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Stefanik renews call for Cuomo to resign amid new sexual harassment accusation

Stefanik renews call for Cuomo to resign amid new sexual harassment accusation
© Greg Nash

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse passes bill to combat gender pay gap Business groups oppose Paycheck Fairness Act, citing concerns it could threaten bonuses and negotiating Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions MORE (R-N.Y.) on Saturday renewed her calls for New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York Philharmonic gives first public performance in more than a year Ron Kim on nursing home immunity repeal: It was critical 'to hold these facilities accountable' NY Democratic chair blasts primary challenge against Maloney MORE (D-N.Y.) to resign after a second former aide came forward accusing the governor of sexual harassment. 

Charlotte Bennett, 25, went public with the accusations in an interview with The New York Times published Saturday. The former executive assistant and health policy adviser said that Cuomo late last spring asked her personal questions about her sex life and hinted that he would be interested in a relationship with a woman of her age. 

Bennett is the second woman to come forward with harassment allegations against the New York governor, with former aide Lindsey Boylan accusing Cuomo of making several inappropriate remarks while she worked in his office and allegedly on one occasion kissing her without her consent. 

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Stefanik responded to the most recent claims on Twitter Saturday, commending the women for their “bravery and courage” in coming forward with “their horrific experiences facing sexual harassment, sexual grooming, and sexual abuse from Governor Cuomo."

Stefanik, a vocal Trump ally who gained notoriety during his first impeachment hearings, added in her statement that Cuomo is a "criminal sexual predator," and must "immediately resign." 

The congresswoman went on to say, that the Times article “recounting Governor Cuomo’s sickening workplace sexual harassment and grooming of Ms. Bennett is so horrific it makes your skin crawl.” 

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Cuomo responded to Bennett’s allegations Saturday in a public statement, writing that he had intended to serve as a mentor to Bennett and that he “never made advances” toward her, “nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate." 

“This situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press,” Cuomo said. “I believe the best way to get to the truth is through a full and thorough outside review and I am directing all state employees to comply with that effort.”

Stefanik previously called for Cuomo’s resignation after Boylan first came forward with allegations against Cuomo in December, which she detailed more explicitly and publicly in a Medium post this week. 

Stefanik shared Boylan’s Medium post on Twitter Wednesday, writing that “any elected official who does not immediately call for his [Cuomo’s] resignation is complicit in allowing a sexual predator to continue leading the great state of New York.” 

The GOP congresswoman has also issued severe rebukes against Cuomo over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically following news earlier this month that the state government withheld coronavirus data at nursing homes in New York 

Stefanik said in a statement at the time that “Governor Cuomo, the Secretary to the Governor, and his senior team must be prosecuted immediately — both by the Attorney General of New York State and the U.S. Department of Justice.”

“This bombshell admission of a coverup and the remarks by the Secretary to the Governor indicating intent to obstruct any federal investigation is a stunning and criminal abuse of power,” she added.