New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sparred with reporters on Thursday and again flatly denied any misbehavior regarding his sexual harassment allegations and misconduct. He attempted to play devil's advocate when interrogated on how his initial apology for making women uncomfortable jives with state laws that clearly indicates his intent is irrelevant.
Cuomo Backtracks on Apology
The governor stated he is anticipating telling New Yorkers the other side of the story. He took questions from the media during the news conference wherein he provided a COVID-19 update from the Bronx.
Cuomo attempted to draw a difference between harassment and making someone feel uncomfortable when asked about the issues that have embroiled his administration. At the end of the program, City & State reporter Rebecca Lewis posed a question regarding Cuomo's initial apology he issued in March. He initially claimed he acknowledged that he engaged in behavior that made multiple women uncomfortable, reported Daily Mail.
The reporter confronted him over his statement in which he apologized for previous comments that "made others feel in ways I never intended." His claim that harassment is not equated to making someone feel uncomfortable was denounced by critics as alarming and laughably wrong, reported Report Door.
According to Cuomo, "Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable. That is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That is you feeling uncomfortable," reported Daily News.
He was asked to accept that one's intentions, according to the law, do not matter in instances of sexual harassment. He responded that he never said anything he believes is "inappropriate."
Cuomo then created a hypothetical situation. He told the female reporter that she could leave the press conference and say the governor harassed her. He would say that he never said anything that he believed was inappropriate.
The governor had a heated back-and-forth argument with the reporter. According to an attorney for Charlotte Bennett, Cuomo's remarks regarding harassment are "jaw dropping."
The lawmaker is facing an independent probe and impeachment inquiry into his behavior. It is being overseen by Attorney General Letitia James, following almost a dozen women, including many current and former staffers, publicly accusing him of making inappropriate remarks and advances with no consent.
Cuomo's version of harassment does not seem to fit with the law in the Empire State. Manhattan lawyer Kevin Mintzer, who has represented numerous women in high-profile sexual misconduct cases, stated Cuomo's remarks have "nothing to do with the law."
When asked about the last time that he took sexual harassment training, he remarked that he underwent training in his office in Albany this 2021. He cannot immediately recall the specific date.
Aside from sexual harassment claims, Cuomo is embroiled in many other scandals. The Democrat is also accused of concealing nursing home COVID-19 fatalities and prioritizing allies and family members for novel coronavirus tests earlier in the pandemic. He and his senior aides reportedly have a habit of undermining and berating reporters and lower-level aides.