New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back on the accusations of sexual harassment that have been made against him by former staffers, maintaining that there was no law against being a creep.
“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable—that is not harassment,” Cuomo said on Thursday. “If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.”
Among the accusations he faces from at least eight women are those that he groped a female staffer who worked in the governor’s chambers against her will.
The women, including several former staffers, have all accused the Democratic governor of acting inappropriately towards them.
An ongoing impeachment probe against the Democrat leader is also investigating a series of scandals related to his cover-up of nursing-home deaths during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo, however, has insisted that he did nothing wrong. He has defied demands for his resignation, even though the bulk of New York’s congressional delegation and dozens of state legislators have come out against him.
“All the groping, the sexual harassment, you deny all of that?” a reporter asked him last month.
“That’s right. Yes,” Cuomo said.
When asked if any of the comments he made to former female staffers could be considered “insensitive or too personal,” Cuomo again insisted that his actions were appropriate.
Dismissing the Left’s former “believe women” mantra, he even hinted that the accusations might be entirely fabricated.
“You can leave this press conference today and say ‘the governor harassed me.’ You can say that,” Cuomo told reporters.
“I would say I never said anything I believed to be inappropriate,” he continued. “I never meant to make you feel that way. You may hear it that way and interpret that way, and I respect that and I apologize to you if I said something you think is offensive.”
But one of the leading lawyers of the #MeToo movement, Debra Katz, called Cuomo’s remarks “jaw dropping.”
Katz, who came into the public spotlight representing Christine Blasey Ford in her accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, is now representing one of the women who accused Cuomo of harassment.
In a rare show of political disunity, the leftist attorney shredded Cuomo’s insinuation that he didn’t understand what constituted harassment.
“For someone who signed the law defining sexual harassment in New York State, and who claims to have taken the state’s mandated sexual harassment training every year despite [my client] seeing someone else take it on his behalf, Gov. Cuomo continues to show an alarming degree of ignorance about what constitutes sexual harassment,” Katz said in a statement.