New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is refusing to commit to resignation if the state’s investigation concludes he committed sexual misconduct while in office.
Mr Cuomo has been accused by nine women, several of them employees of the governor, of having made unwanted sexual advances and comments toward them. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation into the claims.
During a press conference on Monday, Mr Cuomo was asked whether he committed any of the actions his accusers attributed to him.
Mr Cuomo flatly denied any wrongdoing.
Then a reporter asked him if he would discipline himself or consider resignation if Ms James’ investigation found that he had committed the acts.
Mr Cuomo refused to commit to any corrective action, saying that the report would not find any wrongdoing.
“The report can’t say anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong,” Mr Cuomo said.
The governor has been accused of groping, kissing, and making unwanted sexual advances and comments toward women, some of whom were his staffers at the time of the incidents.
The press conference was the first public press conference Mr Cuomo has held in three months.
During the press briefing, the governor also downplayed the accusations against him, claiming the alleged victims just “want attention.” Mr Cuomo said he did not regret inviting women to the Executive Mansion.
“I have many women who were working state government. I’m very proud that we probably have more women in senior positions than ever before,” he said. “And I think that’s a good thing.”
Mr Cuomo faced a barrage of questions regarding complaints about his behavior, which went beyond the sexual misconduct allegations to include inquiries about alleged anti-trans and anti-Semitic comments he is accused of making.
A recent New York Times Magazine cover story alleged that Mr Cuomo complained about “these people and their f****** treehouses” in reference to a Jewish Sukkot event. He denied ever saying the words, calling them “slurs and slander.”
When asked why people would make up allegations against him, he suggested vanity was at the root of the claims.
“People are venial. People want attention. People are angry. People are jealous,” he said.
The storm of attention Mr Cuomo has received for his alleged behavior has not been the only scandal plaguing him; he has also faced claims his administration under-reported nursing home deaths during the coronavirus.
In the early months of the pandemic, Mr Cuomo ordered that nursing homes take in individuals who tested positive for coronavirus, despite elderly and sick individuals being most susceptible to Covid-19.
His office has been accused of under-reporting the deaths in nursing homes by excluding deaths that occurred in hospitals.
He shrugged off the allegations as “just more ugly politics at the time,” and blamed former President Donald Trump of making it a “big issue.”