Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday denied he had done anything inappropriate with any of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo had his first face-to-face meeting with a journalist in months. “You were in those rooms. You know the truth. So can you tell the people of the state of New York yes or no? Did you do the things you were accused of?” asked New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley. “To put it very simply, no.” Cuomo said. “All the groping, the sexual harassment, you deny all of that?” McKinley said. “That’s right. Yes,” Cuomo said.
Asked if he would consider disciplining himself or resigning if the state attorney general, who is investigating the claims, reports he did harass women, Cuomo dismissed that possibility. “The report can’t say anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cuomo said.
This was the first time Cuomo has allowed a group of journalists to question him in person since sexual harassment allegations surfaced in December. For months, citing COVID-19 precautions, he has taken questions only via telephone or internet conference calls — forums where his staff can control who asks questions and journalists often aren’t allowed to ask follow-up queries.
The Andrew Cuomo timeline is as follows; December 13, 2020, former aide Lindsey Boylan accuses Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment. On February 24 2021, Boylan expanded on the allegations in a blog post in which we accused Cuomo of behaving inappropriately during her time working for the state of New York. Boylan alleged that Cuomo invited her to play strip poker while they were on a plane together in 2017 and that he kissed her on the lips in his office without warning in 2018.
On February 27, 2021, the second accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a former low-level aide spoke to the New York Times about her allegations. Bennett alleged that Cuomo made comments that she interpreted as insinuating a sexual relationship when they were alone in the State Capitol.
On March 1, 2021, The New York Times published an account of the third accuser, Anna Ruch. Ruch alleged that Cuomo placed his hands on her bare lower back and her face, and “asked if he could kiss her” at a wedding reception in New York City in 2019. Rep. Kathleen Rice became the first New York Democrat in congress to join in calls for Cuomo to resign as six Democratic state lawmakers called for impeachment.
Cuomo has defied calls for his resignation. He has urged the public to await the results of investigations being conducted by Attorney General Letitia James and the state Assembly’s judiciary committee, which is exploring whether there are grounds to impeach him.
ARTICLE PAUL MURDOCH
POLITICS EDITOR CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE GUARDIAN