De Blasio twists the knife and says he does NOT believe Cuomo’s denial he sexually harassed six women
- Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked on Tuesday if he thinks Gov Andrew Cuomo’s denial of sexual harassment claims was credible, to which he said, ‘No’
- A day earlier, de Blasio, who is possibly vying to unseat Cuomo, questioned his ability to ‘govern effectively’
- Five women have accused Cuomo of harassing them, or acting inappropriately in the workplace
- Cuomo on Sunday apologized for making people ‘feel uncomfortable’ but ruled out resigning his post
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did not beat around the bush when asked if he believes Gov Andrew Cuomo’s denial of the mounting sexual harassment claims against him, offering a terse response: ‘No.’
De Blasio’s monosyllabic rejoinder came during the mayor’s daily press briefing on Tuesday morning, just 24 hours after he questioned Cuomo’s ability to ‘govern effectively’ in the face multiplying allegations of sexual misconduct and the fallout from his handling of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes.
Cuomo has denied some of the allegations against himself and attributed others to his accusers’ misinterpretation of his actions, but said he will not resign and will wait until a full investigation into the matter is concluded.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press briefing on Tuesday that he does not think Gov Andrew Cuomo’s denial of sexual harassment claims is credible
So far, five women have come forward, accusing Cuomo of inappropriate behavior. Pictured: Cuomo speaks during an event at the State Fair in Syracuse on Tuesday
‘I never meant to make anyone feel unwelcome in any way,’ the governor said Sunday.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked de Blasio to weigh in again on Cuomo’s denials, saying: ‘do you think what he’s saying is credible at this point?’
‘No,’ de Blasio shot back without elaborating any further, before moving onto other matters.
The mayor previously questioned Cuomo’s credibility and his ability to carry on with his job as the governor of the fourth most populous state in the nation.
‘I just don’t see how he can govern effectively when fewer and fewer people believe him,’ he said during Monday’s press briefing. ‘I think there’s more information that’s going to come out that makes it harder and harder.’
De Blasio, who is said to be eyeing a run for governorship, has repeatedly stopped short of commenting of the prospect of Cuomo’s resignation.
Ana Liss, 35, (pictured left) previously served as Cuomo’s policy and operations aide between 2013 and 2015 but claims he subjected her to sexual misconduct during her time in his administration. Karen Hinton (right) claims the governor summoned her to his ‘dimly lit’ hotel room and embraced her after a work event in 2000 before she managed to escape
Charlotte Bennett, 25, worked as an aide for Cuomo. She claims he sexually harassed her and left her ‘terrified’
During a conference last Friday, the mayor failed to address Cuomo directly, simply stating the the ‘situation in Albany is sad.’
‘It’s gotten to be worse by the day and fewer and fewer people believe in the governor and that’s a very sad state of affairs for our state,’ he said. ‘But we’re going to overcome it and we’re going to move forward.’
Five women have now publicly accused Cuomo of either sexually harassing behavior or inappropriate conduct in the workplace — after two more, Karen Hinton, 62, and Ana Liss, 35, came forward with allegations of their own late Saturday.
Liss, who previously served as Cuomo’s policy and operations aide between 2013 and 2015, told the Wall Street Journal that during her time in his administration, the governor had subjected her to unsolicited advances, including touching her lower back, kissing her hand and quizzing her about her love life.
Anna Ruch, 33, (left) claimed Cuomo behaved inappropriately at a Manhattan wedding in September 2019. Lindsey Boylan, 36, (right) claims Cuomo commented on her appearance inappropriately, kissed her without her consent and went out of his way to touch her on her lower back, arms and leg
Her claims were followed by Hinton, who recalled for the Washington Post about an incident in which Cuomo summoned her to his ‘dimly lit’ hotel room and embraced her after a work event in 2000. Hinton said she tried to pull away from Cuomo, but claims he pulled her back and held her before she managed to escape the room.
Similar to Liss, Cuomo’s former executive assistant, Charlotte Bennett, 25, revealed last week that the governor had quizzed her about her sex life and asked whether she had relationships with older men.
Lindsey Boylan also revealed in a February Medium post that the governor had tried to kiss her on the lips in his office and suggested they play strip poker during a 2017 flight. Cuomo’s office has said these claims are false.
A third accuser, Anna Ruch, 33, then came forward telling the New York Times that Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her after meeting her at a September 2019 wedding.
After Ruch’s claims came to light, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said should a fourth accuser come forward against Cuomo then he should resign.
Following news of Liss and Hinton’s allegations, Stewart-Cousins, the second most powerful elected official in Albany, penned a statement on Sunday calling for Cuomo to step down.
‘For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign,’ said Stewart-Cousins, ‘Every day there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government.
‘We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.’
De Blasio on Monday questioned Cuomo’s ability to ‘govern effectively’ in the face multiplying allegations (pictured together in November 2018)
Stewart-Cousins continued: ‘New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.’
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie issued a similar statement regarding the allegations against Cuomo without the call for his resignation.
Stewart-Cousins’ public push for his resignation came shortly after a Sunday press conference where Cuomo said it would be ‘anti-democratic’ for him to step down.
‘There is no way I resign,’ Cuomo told reporters. ‘They don’t override the people’s will, they don’t get to override elections. I was elected by the people of New York state. I wasn’t elected by politicians.’
In a brief phone conversation Sunday prior to the press conference, Cuomo told Stewart-Cousins he wouldn’t quit and they would have to impeach him if they wanted him out of office, according to a person who was briefed by someone on the call.
An electronic billboard displays a message that reads ‘Resign Now’ for Governor Cuomo
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that de Blaiso, who unsuccessfully ran for president last year, is openly talking with advisers about running against Cuomo in a 2022 Democratic primary, multiple insiders said.
De Blasio is term-limited and leaves office at the end of this year, while Cuomo can seek re-election to a fourth term in November 2022.
De Blasio sidestepped a question about his political ambitions when asked about it last week.
‘The future will take care of itself,’ he said.
CUOMO’S STATEMENT ON SEX HARASSMENT SCANDAL
I want to address the recent allegations that have been made against me.
As you know the Attorney General is doing an independent review. I will fully cooperate with that review. The lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review.
I understand that. I am a lawyer too.
But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.
First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward and I think it should be encouraged in every way.
I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional. And I truly and deeply apologize for it.
I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it. That’s not easy to say. That’s the truth. This is what I want you to know and I want you to know this from me directly: I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never touched anyone inappropriately.
I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feeling uncomfortable.
I certainly never ever meant to offend anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever do that.
I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the Attorney General’s report before forming an opinion.
Get the facts please before forming an opinion.
I will fully cooperate with it.
Then you will have the facts. Make a decision when you have the facts.
I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation. I’ve learned an important lesson.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone I never intended it.
I will be the better for this experience.
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