Cuomo says resigning due to allegations is "actually anti-democratic"




 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

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  • Three women who formerly worked in Cuomo's office, two former male aides, and one of his former press aides have described being berated by the governor with explicit language, being asked about their dating lives, or being uncomfortably touched, and in one instance, kissed without consent, per the Washington Post.

What he's saying: "There are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of accusations made against me. ... The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic."

  • "No, there is no way I resign. Let's do the attorney general investigation, let's get the findings, and then we'll go from there."

  • "There is politics in politics," Cuomo said, when asked what he would say to Democrats calling for him to resign, including Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.). "They don't get to hear an allegation and make a determination on the allegation."

After Cuomo's Sunday call with reporters, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) called on the governor to resign, saying in a statement: "We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project."

  • She had previously called for an independent investigation into the allegations.

  • "I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York," Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said in a statement released shortly after Stewart-Cousins'.

Between the lines: Most state lawmakers are holding their fire over the allegations and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

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