(The Center Square) – Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he would not submit to “cancel culture” during a news conference that came just hours after prominent in-state congressional Democrats called on him to resign.
U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler both issued separate statements and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman released a joint declaration. Maloney and Nadler referenced only the sexual harassment charges levied against Cuomo, while Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman also noted the nursing home scandal that’s hanging over the administration.
Those statements were made one day after nearly 60 Democrats in the state Legislature issued a statement seeking Cuomo’s resignation.
In just more than two weeks, six women have alleged Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, ranging from unwanted touching to conversations about sex and dating. The most recent came this week after a staffer claimed she was touched while working at the executive mansion late last year.
“The fact that this latest report was so recent is alarming, and it raises concerns about the present safety and well-being of the administration’s staff,” Ocasio-Cortez and Bowman said in their statement.
During the telephone call with reporters early Friday afternoon, Cuomo appeared to be in damn-the-torpedoes mode. He assailed those who have called for his resignation even as an independent investigation overseen by Attorney General Letitia James has just started.
Cuomo, who is the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo and has won election himself four times in New York as either attorney general or governor, said he’s not part of the “political club.”
“Politicians who don’t know a single fact, but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are, in my opinion, reckless and dangerous,” said the three-term governor. “The people of New York should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance. That, my friends, is politics at its worst.”
More hits kept coming Friday. New York Magazine posted a scathing expose on working life in the Cuomo administration. In all, 30 women shared what it was like to work under him. Kaitlin, whose last name was not published, said she met the governor at a fundraiser her lobbying firm was holding for him.
At the end of the event, as he met those who staffed it, she said Cuomo grabbed her in a “dance pose” as a photographer took their picture. She said she felt uncomfortable and embarrassed. A few days later, she’d receive a call from the governor’s office asking her to interview for a job, which she felt she has no choice to accept the interview and subsequent job offer.
Kaitlin and other women said they felt pressure to dress well and wear high heels. While she said she was never harassed as the others who have come forward, she did share a story where Cuomo allegedly asked her into his office to look up auto parts on an online auction site. She was bent over in a skirt and heels with little space to maneuver between the governor, who was watching her, and the desk.
A spokesman for the governor told New York Magazine that he is “notoriously technologically inept” and has used both men and women to help him online.