NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo: 'I Never Touched Anyone Inappropriately'
17:07 GMT 03.08.2021 (Updated: 20:28 GMT 03.08.2021)
© REUTERS / Carlo AllegriNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo gives a press conference in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 2, 2021
© REUTERS / Carlo Allegri
Earlier on Tuesday, attorneys Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark, independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), concluded that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) sexually harassed several women "by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging."
Shortly after the publication of the independent investigators' findings, the New York governor went live on Tuesday with a prerecorded briefing in which he claimed to have never touched anyone inappropriately.
"I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo said. "I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that's not who I've ever been."
The independent probe, which interviewed Cuomo and 178 other individuals, determined that Cuomo's actions toward 11 women - many of whom happened to be government employees - violated multiple state and federal laws.
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) August 3, 2021
Cuomo maintained on Tuesday that he has done nothing wrong. The New York governor also revealed that his attorney "has done a response to each allegation and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed."
During the prerecorded briefing, Cuomo addressed allegations that he made offensive and/or sexual comments toward Charlotte Bennett, a former aide who said that the New York governor asked her if she was open to having sex with an older man.
Cuomo argued that Bennett and her lawyer "read into comments I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They ascribe motives I never had - and simply put - they heard things I just didn't say."
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Bennett called on the New York governor to resign, shortly after the findings were released.
— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) August 3, 2021
Even fellow Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), have renewed their calls for Cuomo's resignation.
"The New York State Attorney General has conducted an independent, thorough and professional investigation that found the Governor violated state and federal law, had a pattern of sexually harassing current and former employees, retaliated against at least one of the accusers and created a hostile work environment," Schumer and Gillibrand wrote in a Tuesday news release.
"No elected official is above the law," they noted. "The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor's office. We continue to believe that the Governor should resign."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also weighed in on the Tuesday developments and urged Cuomo to step down from his post. "Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign," she wrote.
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastief, a Democrat, said the findings in the independent investigators' report were "disturbing."
"The details provided by the victims are gut-wrenching. Our hearts go out to all the individuals who have had to endure this horrible experience," Speaker Heastief said in a statement. "The conduct by the Governor outlined in this report would indicate someone who is not fit for office."
He added that the Assembly intends to conduct an "in-depth examination" of the AG report with Assembly counsels and a legal firm that has been retained. The Assembly Judiciary Committee has also been forwarded the report.