New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave two weeks’ notice and resigned Tuesday — a decision that’s expected to lead to his impeachment and conviction in the State Legislature — after the state’s attorney general documented multiple accusations of him sexually harassing women.
Cuomo initially ignored demands that he resign after he was hit with sexual harassment allegations and predicted the investigation he authorized state Attorney General Letitia James to undertake would exonerate him, NBC News reported. Instead, the report alleged that he’d touched and groped 11 women including nine state employees. His office retaliated against one of the women after she spoke out about how she was treated, the report alleged.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Cuomo said during a televised address. “I have been too familiar with people. My sense of humor can be insensitive and offputting.”
Black voters supported Cuomo in large numbers in his last two Democratic primaries and he leaned heavily on Black leaders when he began losing support among elected Democrats as sexual harassment allegations mounted against him, Politico reported.
Cuomo apologized for his behavior but insisted that he did not intend to harass any of his accusers.
“I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men,” Cuomo said. “I have done it all my life. It’s who I’ve been since I can remember. In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But I did not realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just did not fully appreciate. And I should have. No excuses.”
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Once a vocal Cuomo supporter, Hazel N. Dukes, the president of the N.A.A.C.P. New York State Conference, said last week she was no longer behind him, New York Times reported.
“No, I’m not defending him at this point,” said Dukes, who referred to Cuomo as her son after the initial allegations were reported.
Benjy Sarlin, a policy editor at NBC News, pointed out that Cuomo is hardly the first high-ranking New York state politician to fall.
“Cuomo capping off a run for New York in which the prior elected governor resigned, the LG who took over in the interim didn’t run for re-elect over scandals, the previous AG resigned over abuse allegations, and the top D and R legislative leaders went to jail in corruption cases,” @BenjySarlin tweeted.
Some Twitter users weren’t convinced of the sincerity of Cuomo’s apology.
“What a cop out of an apology. The line was and will always be there. For the first time, men in power are facing minimal consequences and don’t know how to process it,” @EvenStarsDie91 tweeted.
“This quote is the perfect example of the unaccountability of a predator. ‘Redrawn’ lines is bullshit,” Republicans Can’t Win Unless They Cheat @whatiwannapost tweeted in agreement. “It was always there. Women are now NOT putting up with it. It has ALWAYS been a violation. At least he doesn’t say it didn’t happen like the Republican predators tho.”
“Apparently he missed the last 20 years of mandatory annual sexual harassment prevention training” Veronica A. Carter tweeted @ilmgal.
Mercedes @DetroitDeeDee had more of a statement than a question: “when trump getting convicted”.
“Cuomo is headed toward a whole different sausage party now!” JamieLynn_TrumpGrl tweeted.
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