New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Again Denies Sexual Harassment After Damning Attorney General's Report Released
The New York Attorney General Letitia James said whether or not Gov. Andrew Cuomo will resign "is ultimately up to the governor of the state of New York.”
An independent investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo found that he sexually harassed multiple women, Attorney General Letitia James announced in a statement Tuesday, saying Cuomo's conduct “corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government.”
The lengthy report into the Cuomo's behavior stemmed from months of allegations from multiple women, and found that “Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments,” James said.
The report stated that Cuomo's sexual misconduct was not limited to his current and former staffers, but includes other state employees including a State Trooper and an employee of the National Grid energy company.
The latest findings is leading to increased calls for Cuomo's resignation and could fuel support for impeachment proceedings against the third-term Democrat as he considers running for a fourth term in State Legislature.
Following the release of the report, Cuomo again denied sexually harassing anyone. In a live broadcast Tuesday, Cuomo said he asked a staffer questions to help her recover from previous sexual harassment and trauma.
"My own family member is a survivor of sexual assault," he said, noting that the assault in question took place while his relative was in high school. "I have watched her live and suffer with the trauma. I would do anything to make it go away for her, but it never really goes away.
"I'm governor of the State of New York, but I felt powerless" to help his relative, Cuomo continued. "This young woman brought it all back."
The woman in question, Cuomo's former executive assistant Charlotte Bennett, has alleged Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life and being a survivor of sexual assault. She lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him last year. Cuomo denied those allegations.
"I have heard Charlotte and her lawyer," he said, but said that they "read into comments that I have made, and draw inferences I have never meant. They describe motives I have never had. They heard things that I just didn't say.
"Charlotte, I want you to know that I am truly and deeply sorry," he continued. "I brought my personal experience into the workplace and I shouldn't have done that. I was trying to help. Obviously I didn't. I am even more sorry that I complicated the situation."
Cuomo vehemently denied that he ever groped someone in his private office. He acknowledged kissing people on the forehead, cheek and hand, and of embracing many he has met, all while a montage of photos of such moments played while he spoke.
“The facts are much different from what has been portrayed," he said from Albany. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
This is a developing story, check back here for updates.
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