Andrew Cuomo stressed that he is “not going to resign” during a conference call on Friday, and boy did he have his reasons why.
The call came hours after several prominent New York Democrats called for the governor to step down following a rash of sexual harassment allegations. Cuomo told reporters that the allegations against him are not true, that anyone making conclusions without all the facts is “irresponsible,” and that resigning would be tantamount to “bowing to cancel culture.”
“I am not part of the political club,” added the three-term governor whose father was a governor, and who was also once married to a Kennedy.
Cuomo painted the uproar surrounding the growing number of sexual harassment allegations as a “distraction” from his duties as governor, which include sorting out the state’s budget and vaccinating its population against the coronavirus. In addition to the sexual harassment scandal, Cuomo is still under fire for his handling of the pandemic.
“The Governor is not only facing the accusation that he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and assault,” wrote U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Alexandria Ocasio-Coretz on Friday in a statement calling for his resignation. “There is also the extensive report from the Attorney General that found the Cuomo administration hid data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths from both the public and the state legislature.”
Cuomo maintained several times over the course of the call, which lasted just under 30 minutes, that the allegations against him are false, and that the politicians calling for him to resign prior to the conclusion of investigations into his conduct are are being “reckless and dangerous.”
“There are now two reviews underway,” he said. “No one wants them to happen more quickly and more thoroughly than I do. Let them do it. I am not going to argue this issue in the press. That’s not the way it should be done. Serious allegations should be weighed seriously.”
Cuomo added that he wants to “encourage” women to come forward, but also noted that “there are often many motivations for making an allegation.” When he was asked whether he was engaged in a consensual relationship with any of the women who have made allegations against him, he dodged the question. “My statement could not be clearer,” he said. “I never harassed anyone. I never assaulted anyone.”
“I did not have a sexual relationship that was inappropriate, period,” Cuomo said, finally. “OK. Thank you very much. Bye.”