ALBANY, NY (WSKG) – The pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign from office reached an even higher level of intensity Friday, as nearly all of New York’s Congressional delegation called on the governor to leave office after allegations of sexual harassment and bullying behavior. But the governor remains defiant, saying he won’t bow to “cancel culture”, and casting doubts on the motives of his now six accusers, as well as the elected officials who are asking him to leave.
In addition to the members of Congress, all of the 43 Democratic Senators have called for the governor’s resignation, as well as dozens of Assembly Democrats. The Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, has authorized the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation.
But Cuomo, in a conference call with reporters, says he still has no intention of leaving. He portrayed himself as a victim of “cancel culture”.
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth,” Cuomo said. “I’m not going to resign.”
Cuomo also cast doubt on his accusers’ intentions, saying “there are often many motivations for making an allegation”. And he condemned the more than six dozen democratic politicians who have called on him to leave.
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact, but yet form a conclusion and an opinion, are in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” Cuomo said. “That, my friends, is politics at its worst.”
The governor expanded on a denial that he first made on February 28th, when he said he did not sexually harass anyone. Since then, the Albany Times Union reported that a female aide is accusing the governor of aggressively groping her after she was summoned to the executive mansion.
“I never harassed anyone, I never abused anyone, I never assaulted anyone,” Cuomo said. “And I never would.”
Cuomo says people need to withhold judgement until they have heard all the facts. And he says he’s going to cooperate with the Assembly’s impeachment investigation, as well as an on going probe by the state’s Attorney General. But he says he’s also going to keep working, negotiating with the legislature on a budget that’s due in two weeks, and continuing the state’s vaccine roll out.
“That is my job,” Cuomo said. “And that is exactly what I am going to focus on.”
The governor says he plan to work with lawmakers over the weekend on a measure to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana, another indication that he does not plan to resign anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the state’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul made a public appearance, virtually, at Catholic Health in Buffalo, where she received a dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Hochul said she wants to convey that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is safe, and just as good an option as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
“I’m aware that in certain communities there’s a hesitation about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine ,” Hochul said. “People are talking about this on social media. People are spreading rumors, lies.”
Hochul says she has “100% confidence” in all three of the vaccines.
Hochul, at age 62, recently became eligible to receive the vaccine. She says she will now soon be able to visit with her father, who lives in Florida and who she has not seen in a year.
Hochul, as in prior appearances that she’s made in recent days, did not mention Cuomo’s name. The event was closed to the media, and she did answer any questions on the sexual harassment scandal, or the nursing home controversy surrounding the governor.