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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Cuomo says “there is no way I resign” amid sexual harassment allegations

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defiantly rebuffed requires his resignation as extra girls have come ahead with sexual harassment allegations in opposition to him, saying Sunday “there is no way” he’ll step down. But shortly after his press convention, New York State Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, mentioned he “must resign.”

“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government,” Stewart-Cousins mentioned in an announcement Sunday afternoon. “We have allegations of sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the COVID-19 nursing home data, and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project. New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.” 

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, additionally a Democrat, stopped wanting saying outright that Cuomo ought to resign, however mentioned in an announcement that Cuomo ought to “seriously consider” if he can lead the state. “I too share the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state,” Heastie mentioned.

Cuomo insisted earlier Sunday that he continues to be centered on the state’s COVID-19 response and vaccination effort, and mentioned he wouldn’t be “distracted” by the allegations.

“I was elected by the people of the state, not by politicians,” Cuomo instructed reporters Sunday. “I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic.”

Cuomo has spent the weekend reaching out to state leaders and legislators telling them he is not going to resign, two folks acquainted with the conversations instructed CBS News. In phone calls, the governor is repeating what he has mentioned publicly: Be affected person and permit an investigation overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James to proceed.

In these conversations, Cuomo is asking for due course of, saying that others who’ve confronted related allegations have been afforded a chance for investigations to play out earlier than potential accountability, based on one of many folks acquainted with the outreach.

Another particular person instructed CBS News that Cuomo has help throughout the state, “But you never know how deep or wide.”

It was not clear who precisely the governor spoke with or what number of calls he made, however the checklist consists of Stewart-Cousins and different legislators, the 2 folks mentioned.

Two extra girls got here ahead on Saturday with allegations that Cuomo acted inappropriately, making it 5 girls who’ve accused him. While Cuomo mentioned final week he was “embarrassed” and apologized for “any pain I caused,” he struck a extra defiant tone on Sunday. He has mentioned an alleged incident with one lady, Lindsey Boylan, “didn’t happen,” and he mentioned Sunday allegations from a former aide, Karen Hinton, are “not true.” 

One of Cuomo’s accusers, Charlotte Bennett, described him as a “textbook abuser” in an unique interview with “CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell. Bennett alleges that on June 5 — through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in hard-hit New York — Cuomo requested her if she was ever intimate with an older man and mentioned he was snug courting girls a long time youthful than him.

Text messages despatched by Bennett to a pal and reviewed by CBS News memorialized her encounter with Cuomo instantly after the alleged dialog. In the messages, Bennett instructed a pal that Cuomo “talked about age differences in relationships.”

Her pal, who verified the messages, requested: “Wait what,” and “Did he do something.” 

“No,” Bennett responded. “But it was like the most explicit it could be.” 

When requested by CBS News on Sunday if he was made conscious of Bennett’s grievance on the time, Cuomo mentioned he was not. He once more insisted he can be awaiting the outcomes of an investigation by Attorney General Letitia James.

“This is not about me or accusations about me — the attorney general can handle that. This is about doing the people’s business,” Cuomo mentioned. “These next six months will determine the future trajectory of New York state.”

On Sunday, the editorial board of the Albany Times Union, a newspaper that endorsed Cuomo’s three campaigns for governor, mentioned Sunday that he should step down.

But the newspaper centered on the opposite scandal embroiling the governor: The deaths of 1000’s of state residents at nursing properties through the pandemic and his administration’s alleged makes an attempt to cover up the complete scope of the issue.

“New York cannot get through this public health crisis if New Yorkers don’t know whether the governor and health officials are being honest with them from one day to the next,” the editorial board wrote.

“Today was a body blow, for sure,” mentioned a state official, granted anonymity to talk frankly concerning the governor’s political standing amid considerations about potential retribution. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but this was a bad 24 hours for him.”

Cuomo mentioned he has been centered on getting the state price range authorised. New York state’s structure mandates the price range be authorised by April 1, and Cuomo submitted his price range in mid-January. According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York shall be getting $12.5 billion in stimulus money within the just lately handed federal reduction package deal, though Cuomo had sought $15 billion. 

“This does not mean it’s going to be an easy budget, but now it will be a possible budget,” Cuomo mentioned. 

Cuomo additionally introduced Sunday that excluding New York City, eating places in New York state will now be capable to open at 75% capability.  

Norah O’Donnell, Michael Kaplan, Julie Morse, Adam Verdugo and Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.

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