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Cuomo says ‘there is no way I resign’ amid mounting calls from accusers and own party

Chris Riotta
·2-min read
Cuomo Sexual Harassment (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Cuomo Sexual Harassment (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has defiantly rejected growing calls to step down from his position while facing numerous claims of inappropriate conduct and multiple investigations, saying on Sunday: “There is no way I resign.”

“I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians,” Mr Cuomo said on Sunday, adding: “I’m not going to resign because of allegations.”

He spoke after two additional women came forward alleging inappropriate behavior on the part of the governor, as new reports painted a picture of a “toxic” and intense work culture at Mr Cuomo’s Albany offices. Those claiming Mr Cuomo was inappropriate said the governor gave “unethical” embraces and discussed sex lives and other topics that made some staffers uncomfortable.

“Every woman has a right to come forward, that’s true. But the truth also matters and what she says is not true,” he said, referring to Karen Hinton, his former aide. “She has been a long-time political adversary of mine.”

New York’s Democratic attorney general has launched an investigation into the claims, as well as a probe into a separate controversy surrounding nursing home deaths across the state during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the weekend press conference, Mr Cuomo called for the investigations to continue and said his office would fully cooperate.

“It’s damning to publicize allegations before you know that they are credible,” he said. “Let the attorney general do her job.”

In the latest accusations against the Democratic governor, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that a former aide, Ana Liss, said Mr Cuomo in 2014 sometimes greeted her with a hug and kisses on both cheeks, called her “sweetheart,” kissed her hand and asked her if she had a boyfriend.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that a former press aide, Ms Hinton, said that in 2000 Mr Cuomo - when he was federal housing secretary under President Bill Clinton - embraced her in a hotel room after a work event.

The new accusations surfaced after three women had accused Mr Cuomo, 63, of sexually harassing them or making inappropriate remarks. He has denied any misconduct and pledged to cooperate with the review by Ms James’ office.

The governor, who has rejected calls for his resignation that have come even from prominent Democratic state lawmakers, also has battled in recent weeks to respond to accusations that his administration sought to downplay the number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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