President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have remained silent on the three credible allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, even though both have claimed to be vocal advocates of the #MeToo movement.
Harris, especially, was a vocal proponent of the women’s empowerment movement, using it to justify her opposition to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation.
She even said she would support impeaching Kavanaugh after he was confirmed to the bench.
“Christine Blasey Ford, who literally had nothing to gain by coming forward … she looked at the fact that this guy was being nominated and said, ‘the American people had the right to know what I know,’ and she was treated like a criminal,” Harris said at the time.
Yet Harris has yet to comment on the allegations made against Cuomo by women who said he sexually harassed them or touched them inappropriately.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also avoided commenting on the Cuomo scandal when pressed during a daily briefing this week.
“I know that’s how the vice president continues to feel, and the benefit of doing a briefing every day is that I can certainly speak on behalf of the president and the vice president,” Psaki said when asked what Biden and Harris thought about the allegations.
“And so let me reiterate that they both believe that every woman coming forward should be heard, should be treated with dignity, and treated with respect,” she added.
Condemnation by either Biden or Harris is complicated by the fact that both have dodged accountability on their own #MeToo-related scandals.
Biden rode out allegations that he had sexually assaulted a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, in the 1990s. He also ducked rampant concerns over his long track-record of inappropriate verbal and physical interactions with women, young girls and boys.
Harris—whose political career benefited from her romantic relationship with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown—was nearly derailed early in her Senate career by a $400,000 sexual harassment settlement involving one of her top aides during her stint as California’s attorney general.
Despite the reluctance of many leaders on the Left—including other top #MeToo advocates like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY—to condemn Cuomo, some have stepped forward.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called them “serious and credible.”
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, said the “detailed” allegations were “extremely serious and painful to read,” according to a statement.
She called on New York Attorney General Letitia James—a potential successor to Cuomo—to lead the probe.
“There must be an independent investigation—not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General,” Ocasio–Cortez said.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.