In what the New York Times billed as an attempt to “convey a sense of normalcy during a period of profound turmoil,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took questions from reporters Monday — the first time since December — and “flatly” denied that he had ever sexually harassed anyone or had done “anything wrong.”
At least nine women, to include former aides, have accused the Democratic governor of inappropriate behavior, ranging from harassment to sexual assault. Addressing their possible motivations, Cuomo threw out a host of reasons, effectively calling all of them liars.
“People say things. Who knows? People are venial, people want attention, people are angry, people are jealous,” he said. “Who knows why people spread rumors?”
All the while, Cuomo has no trouble getting Democratic officials to stand alongside him. If the election of President Joe Biden didn’t signal the official end of the #MeToo movement, given that his accuser, Tara Reade, was summarily dismissed by the media, the reaction to Cuomo certainly does the trick.
Cuomo also spoke about the independent investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, saying the inquiry into the sexual harassment claims will not find any wrongdoing.
“The report can’t say anything different, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” the governor said.
On inviting women to the governor’s mansion, Cuomo attributed that to an effort “to hire more women… and bring them to the highest level.” Presumably, with a straight face.
At Cuomo presser, @bern_hogan asks gov if Cuomo regrets seeing young women in his employ to the mansion (he has denied the accusation that he groped an aide). Cuomo’s response was: “I think we should encourage people to hire more women… and bring them to the highest level”
— Michael Gormley (@GormleyAlbany) April 26, 2021
Not that sexually inappropriate behavior is the only controversy Cuomo faces.
James also oversees a probe into “possible misuse of state resources — including state employees — to work on his 2020 book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,'” the New York Times reported.
Zephyr Teachout, an associate law professor at Fordham University who ran against Cuomo in 2014, shared an exchange the governor had with a reporter about the book scandal.
“Andrew Cuomo really believes that being Governor means he is the law, not subject to law, and it shows every time he is asked about it,” she observed.
Andrew Cuomo really believes that being Governor means he is is the law, not subject to law, and it shows every time he is asked about it. https://t.co/PPgUXKlPv2
— Zephyr Teachout (@ZephyrTeachout) April 27, 2021
Cuomo also faces an impeachment investigation by the New York State Assembly.
But the more costly controversy, given the number of deaths involved, is his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, which were directed by the governor to accept COVID-19 patients. A controversy that gets little ink lately.
Lindsey Boylan, the first woman who came forward to accuse Gov. Cuomo of sexual harassment responded to his denial on Twitter.
“Truly disgusting. This man is full of lies. Unfortunately for him, he does not control the truth and many people would have to ignore a lot of truth and evidence to accept this bullsh-t,” she wrote.
Truly disgusting. This man is full of lies.
Unfortunately for him, he does not control the truth and many people would have to ignore a lot of truth and evidence to accept this bullshit. https://t.co/vrQ0k9MzDO
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) April 26, 2021
Here’s a sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:
Andrew Cuomo called all of his accusers liars today at a press conference out in the open and it didn’t even make a blip.
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 27, 2021
I can’t believe that he’s gonna get away with it
— Daniel Rosetti 🇧🇴🇺🇸 (@DanielRosetti4) April 27, 2021
His sycophants know he’ll survive. He’s a connected Dem. Uncle Joe told him..hang in.
— Eileen J (@longislpatriot) April 27, 2021
The lesson is clear – Christie was expected and hoped to fall over his scandals, he survived. Cuomo is MUCH stronger. To end his rule there must be concerted action focused and relentless until he is gone.
— William Luddy (@luddy) April 27, 2021
“All of my underlings, who are terrified of me because I am a notorious monster, volunteered to do this free, extra work on my book” is not the great defense he thinks it is.
— Brian P. Mangan (@brianpmangan) April 27, 2021
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