Biden silent on whether Cuomo should resign after avalanche of Dem calls
President Biden isn’t weighing in on whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign even as top New York congressional Democrats say it’s time for him to go, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“The president believes every woman comes forward deserves to have her voice heard, to be treated with respect, to be able to tell her story,” Psaki said Friday when asked if Biden would call on Cuomo to resign, repeating a line she’s frequently said when asked about the allegations.
She noted that the state was investigating the matter, adding Biden “certainly supports that moving forward.”
“I don’t have any additional announcements,” she said.
Biden is staying in neutral territory as a sea of Democratic voices have called on the liberal governor to resign amid dueling scandals involving an undercount of nursing home deaths in New York and numerous sexual misconduct and assault allegations.
Biden still has not personally spoken on the matter in public. Neither has Vice President Kamala Harris.
New York Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler called on the governor to step down Friday, joining at least 120 New York lawmakers who have called on the governor to step down or resign.
“Unfortunately, the Governor is not only facing the accusation that he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment and assault. There is also the extensive report from the Attorney General that found the Cuomo administration hid data on Covid-19 nursing home deaths from both the public and state legislature,” a statement from Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., said.
Nadler, meanwhile, called the accusations “credible” and “serious.” He said that while Cuomo is guaranteed due process, “the question before us is squarely a political judgment.”
“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” he said.
Cuomo reiterated Friday that he will not resign. “Let the review proceed. I’m not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians. I was elected by the people,” he said. Earlier this week he said resigning would be “actually anti-democratic.”
State Attorney General Letitia James’ office is conducting an independent investigation into the claims, and state lawmakers took the first step toward impeachment of the three-term governor, opening an investigation with full subpoena power. The claims of a sixth woman, first reported by the Albany Times-Union, that the governor reached under her shirt and groped her at the governor’s mansion last year have been referred to police from the governor’s office.
Cuomo has denied the accusation, saying Wednesday: “I have never done anything like this.”
Other allegations include a pattern of inappropriate behavior and unwanted advances aimed at former aides and other women.
Last month, Cuomo apologized for interactions that he said “may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended.” However, he denied inappropriately touching anyone. He said that hugging and kissing was his “customary” behavior, as it was his father’s before him.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated his call that Cuomo step down on Friday.
“The governor must resign. He can no longer do the job,” he said, before urging him to “do something that’s decent after these many many indecent revelations and simply resign.”