The White House has said the findings that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women are “abhorrent” and said Joe Biden would address the issue later in the day.
New York’s attorney general Letitia James unveiled the results of an investigation on Tuesday that showed Cuomo engaged in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging and made inappropriate comments to multiple women.
“I don’t know that anyone could have watched this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent. I know I certainly did,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters later on Tuesday.
Biden has previously said Cuomo should resign if the allegations were shown by an investigation to be true.
Several New York Democratici – including both the state’s US senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand , as well as Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Mondaire Jones – called on Cuomo to quit on Tuesday.
Schumer and Gillibrand issued a joint statement that called the report “profoundly disturbing”.
It added: “No elected official is above the law. The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office. We continue to believe that the governor should resign.”
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City and fellow Democrat but longtime political foe of the governor, disse: “I’ll state the obvious: the summary you just gave represents behaviour that’s unacceptable.
“Unacceptable in anyone, let alone a public servant. I’ve be very clear about that fact that what we’ve seen is disqualifying.”
De Blasio’s all-but certain successor, the Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams, also pulled no punches and called for Cuomo to be impeached if he did not step down. Nel frattempo. Cuomo’s own deputy, the New York lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, also called for him to resign, calling his behavior “repulsive” and “unlawful”.
“I believe these brave women and admire their courage coming forward. No one is above the law," lei disse.
Republicans too seized on the findings. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York, the highest ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives, disse: “No one is above the law and today justice must be served. Governor Cuomo must resign and be arrested immediately. President Joe Biden must immediately call for Cuomo’s resignation.”
Cuomo released a defiant video address on Tuesday, insisting “that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances” and making clear that he still has no intention of stepping down.
Cuomo, the son of three-term New York governor Mario Cuomo, became a political star through televised daily briefings during the early months of the pandemic but was tarnished by accusations that he misreported the numbers of deaths in nursing homes.
He faced calls to quit last year when two former aides accused him of sexually harassing them in the workplace and several more women then came forward with accusations of misconduct, prompting James’s five-month investigation.