Despite 7th Accuser, Cuomo Speaks and Remains Defiant
Governor Andrew Cuomo held a tele-press conference on Friday and defiantly said he will not resign from office despite the allegations of inappropriate sexual activity, including a new report out on Friday.
"What is being alleged simply did not happen," the Governor told reporters. "That's why you have to wait to get the facts."
Cuomo's accusers have told stories ranging from touching the lower back during conversations to a groping incident at the Governor's mansion last year. The seventh accuser came forward today in a story in New York Magazine. Reporter Jessica Bakeman writes in New York Magazine that "Cuomo never let me forget that I was a woman."
"Democrat Cuomo took her hand and refused to release his grip during a holiday party in 2014. That's when he also put his arm around her back while asking for a photographer to take a picture. Bakeman writes she didn't want to be in a photo with Cuomo where his hands were on her body. Bakeman also recounts something Cuomo said during the encounter. She said Cuomo asked, "Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady."
Bakeman recalls a time when she was working for Politico, when she was waiting to ask the Governor a question while he spoke with a photographer. She said he put his arm around her back and her waist and pulled her close and asked the photographer to take a picture. Then he turned to me with a mischievous smile on his face, in front of all of my
colleagues, and said: “I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady,” Bakeman wrote in her story. "I stood there in stunned silence, shocked and humiliated. But, of course, that was the point."
During Cuomo's press conference he answered questions from reporters ranging from the allegations to whether or not he's able to focus on doing the work of the people. "This is not the first time we have to walk and chew gum," he said.
Another reporter asked, "You have said repeatedly that you never touched anyone inappropriately. Are you saying the touching was consensual?" Once again, Governor Cuomo was defiant. "How do you come to a conclusion before you know the facts," he said. "A lot of people allege a lot of things for a lot of reasons."
The Governor referenced pressing issues like getting the vaccines out to New Yorkers and presenting a budget that he called the "most difficult ever."
"We have a budget due in two weeks for a state that is in a fiscal crisis. It is the most difficult budget we've ever done. And then we have to rebuild our state from the bottom up. Because we have serious issues all across this state, especially in New York City. That is my job," Cuomo said.
"New Yorkers know me. Wait for the facts, I am confident that when New Yorkers learn the facts from the review, I am confident in the decision based on the facts. An opinion without the facts is irresponsible. I'm going to avoid the distractions and focus on my job," he said.