Psaki: Cuomo should face ‘independent review’ over sexual harassment allegations
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called for an “independent review” into the allegations faced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Sunday after the governor was accused of sexual harassment by two former aides.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Psaki was asked by host Dana Bash whether the White House believes the allegations raised by Charlotte Bennett in a New York Times interview Saturday. Bennett, 25, accused Cuomo, 63, of making unwanted sexual advances to her last spring while she was employed as an executive assistant in New York’s state government. She was later transferred to a job as a health policy adviser.
“President Biden has been consistent that he believes that every woman should be heard, should be treated with respect and with dignity. Charlotte should be treated with respect and dignity. So should Lindsey [Boylan],” Psaki said, referring to a the first former aide who accused Cuomo of misconduct.
“There should be an independent review looking in to these allegations, and that’s certainly something he supports and we believe should move forward as quickly as possible,” Psaki continued.
.@DanaBashCNN asks @PressSec if @JoeBiden believes @NYGovCuomo’s accusers or the gov. Spox says story was “hard to read, as a woman” and calls for independent “review” of both sets of allegations. pic.twitter.com/0fN8xPS6Cc
— Casey Seiler (@CaseySeiler) February 28, 2021
Psaki’s comments come as the governor faces calls for an investigation into his actions as well as for his resignation from Republicans such as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who called Cuomo a “criminal sexual predator” in a statement Saturday.
Cuomo has denied the allegations from the two women, claiming in a statement Saturday to the Times that he “never made advances” toward Bennett, “nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.”
“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” the governor said Saturday.
“Ms. Bennett was a hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID,” he continued, adding, “She has every right to speak out.”