State Watch

Defiant Cuomo won’t resign, bow to ‘cancel culture’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Friday he would not resign from office in the face of mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, hours after most Democratic members of Congress from his home state urged him to quit.

In a hastily scheduled conference call with reporters that Cuomo’s office billed as a regular update on the coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo criticized the growing number of politicians from his own party who have called on him to resign.

“Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous. The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes an opinion without knowing the facts and substance,” Cuomo said. “People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth. Let the review proceed, I’m not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people.”

The three-term governor who served as a former New York attorney general and as secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration cast himself as an outsider targeted by political insiders.

“I am not part of the political club, and you know what? I am proud of it,” he said. “I have been in the public eye my entire life. My entire life I have been under public scrutiny, since I was 23 years old and ran my father’s campaign. New Yorkers know me. Wait for the facts.”

Fourteen members of New York’s congressional delegation, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), issued coordinated statements Friday morning calling on Cuomo to quit. Their statements came after an aide to the governor said Cuomo had groped her inside the governor’s mansion last year.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said this week that the Assembly Judiciary Committee would open an inquiry that could lead to Cuomo’s impeachment.

“Women have a right to come forward and be heard, and I encourage that fully. But I also want to be clear there is still a question of the truth. I did not do what has been alleged, period,” Cuomo said. “I never harassed anyone, I never abused anyone, I never assaulted anyone.”

Asked directly whether he had been involved in a consensual relationship with any of the women who had accused him of improper behavior, Cuomo did not answer directly.

“My statement could not be clearer, I think. I never harassed anyone. I never assaulted anyone. I never abused anyone,” he said.

Later, he added: “I have not had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate, period.”

Cuomo said he would sign a number of bills related to the coronavirus pandemic, including a measure to give workers up to four hours off to get their coronavirus vaccine shots. He said he was continuing preparations for budget negotiations with the legislature.

More than 50 members of the Assembly and the Senate have called on Cuomo to resign.

“I think I can be of tremendous help and I am focused on my job,” Cuomo said. “I’m confident that if everybody does their job, we’ll do the best we can.” 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Andrew Cuomo Jerry Nadler New York

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