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Tag: andrew cuomo

CNN Fires Anchor Chris Cuomo Over Aid To Brother In Scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CNN said on Saturday that it had fired news anchor Chris Cuomo during an investigation into his efforts to help his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother's defense," the cable news network said in a statement.

"We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," it added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Why The Press Urged Cuomo To Resign — But Not Trump

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Rushing in to inform readers that in the wake of damning investigation into his history of sexual harassment, New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is no longer suited for office, the New York Times editorial page waited barely 24 hours to reach its sweeping conclusion — "Governor Cuomo, You Should Resign." [EDITOR'S NOTE: Cuomo offered his resignation on August 10.]

"Regardless of what may happen in a court of law, the governor has only one conscionable option left: He should resign," the Times announced. "If Mr. Cuomo cares for the well-being of the state and its citizens as much as he has said he does over the years, he needs to do the right thing and step down."

The Times was unequivocal. What made the clarion call so jarring was it came from the same editorial page that refused for four years to demand Trump resign from office — to conclude, as they did regarding Cuomo, that stepping down remained Trump's "only conscionable option left," and urging him to do the "right thing."

Trump ran a criminal enterprise out of the White House, which everyone at the Times understood, and still the paper could not summon the courage to call for his resignation. Yet the Times sprinted into action in order to insist a Democrat step down? The contrast is stunning even if you agree, as so many Democrats did, that Cuomo had to leave office.

What explains the radically different standards the Times uses for announcing sitting Republican and Democratic office holders are no longer fit to serve? How does the Times, after refusing to weigh in on Trump's fitness for office for four years, announce Cuomo must resign less than a day after the results of the New York investigation was announced?

Here's the larger context: The media love to call for the resignation of Democrats. Republicans though, not so much.

In the 1990's, dozens of major newspapers loudly demanded a Democratic president step down for the good of the country. That president's sin? He lied about an extramarital affair.

"He should resign because he has resolutely failed — and continues to fail — the most fundamental test of any president: to put his nation's interests first," USA Today announced unequivocally of Bill Clinton in September 1998. "Bill Clinton should resign,'" echoed the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He should resign because his repeated, reckless deceits have dishonored his presidency beyond repair."

When Republicans tried to drive a Democratic president from office for lying about his personal life, media elites couldn't wait to tell Clinton to get lost. (None of those same papers told Trump to do the same thing.)

To be clear, the Times was not one of the dailies that demanded Clinton resign, so they managed to avoid that glaring hypocrisy. Still, we see a clear pattern in terms of media resignation calls made for Clinton and Cuomo, and crickets for Trump.

It's not like the Times didn't have endless, obvious opportunities to demand that Trump step down. Most recently, it would have been for the blood-thirsty mob he incited on January 6 after trying to use all levers of the government to overthrow a free and fair election last November. For trying to engineer a coup, plain and simple.

Or last year, when Trump refused to protect America from the Covid-19 virus invasion, and then made America's pandemic response worse every day by constantly lying to the public about science.

"Any CEO who was deemed responsible for allowing a massive tragedy to unfold would be immediately called upon to resign or be fired, even if he or she were six months from retirement," noted former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart in a CNN column last summer, shaming newspapers for remaining silent regarding Trump's much-needed departure.

Or in 2019, when Trump openly colluded with a foreign government to dig up dirt on his political opponent, while offering up the assistance of the Department of Justice. He hid transcripts of presidential calls on secret servers in hopes of covering up the collusion, and publicly threatened to expose the crucial whistleblower, insinuating that he or she should be executed. He's also urged that a Democratic member of Congress be arrested for treason.

Or the Times should have insisted Trump leave office based on his chronically deranged behavior, which made him categorically unfit to serve, such as being a habitual liar who shredded our public discourse. Trump also lined his pockets while serving. He coddled murderous dictators. Spent his day wallowing in racist attacks, lobbed vicious, personal attacks against the press, and regularly inspired white nationalist gunmen to unleash murderous attacks.

By not taking a public stand, newspaper leaders like those at the Times sent a loud, collective message that what Trump was doing to America did not represent a looming crisis; that the country could easily weather the storm and no drastic action was needed. Note that in 2019, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said he didn't really view Trump as being an unprecedented figure in American history, and likened him to Edwin Edwards, a controversial Louisiana Democratic governor from the 1970s and 1980s. (The two men have almost nothing in common.)

It's true that calls for resignation certainly would not have forced Trump from office. They would however, have helped change the national debate and more accurately reflected the crisis our country faced with a tyrannical liar at the helm. And quite simply, the calls would been the right thing to do.

The Times was right in urging Cuomo to resign. Too bad the paper of record failed to make that same obvious demand while Trump was shaming the Oval Office.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Cuomo Denies Misconduct Charges Detailed In Attorney General's Probe

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday denied the findings of a five-month investigation by the state's attorney general that found he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of U.S. and state law and created a "climate of fear" in his office.

"I never touched anyone inappropriately," said Cuomo, a Democrat who has served as governor since 2011. "That is just not who I am and that's not who I have ever been."

The investigation showed that Cuomo engaged in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging, and made inappropriate comments to a total of 11 women, state Attorney General Letitia James told a news briefing earlier on Tuesday, adding that the governor's office had become a "toxic workplace" that enabled harassment to occur.

"The facts are much different than what has been portrayed," Cuomo said.

The findings, detailed in a scathing 168-page report, could deal a devastating blow to Cuomo's political future and hinder his administration, although the probe was civil in nature and will not directly lead to any criminal charges against him.

"These 11 women were in a hostile and toxic work environment. We should believe women," said James, a Democrat.

"What this investigation revealed was a disturbing pattern of conduct by the governor of the great state of New York," James added.

There was no immediate comment from the governor's office. Cuomo, 63, has denied wrongdoing.

Carl Heastie, speaker of the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly who has authorized an impeachment investigation into Cuomo's conduct, in a statement called the report's findings "disturbing" and said they pointed to "someone who is not fit for office."

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate majority leader, issued a statement saying the report detailed "unacceptable behavior" by Cuomo and his administration and calling on him to "resign for the good of the state."

"Now that the investigation is complete and the allegations have been substantiated, it should be clear to everyone that he can no longer serve as governor," Stewart-Cousins said.

Investigators spoke to 179 people, including complainants and current and former members of the executive chamber, James said. She said the probe resulted in a "clear picture" of what she called a "climate of fear" in which Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of them young.

James launched her investigation into the allegations after receiving a formal request from Cuomo's office on March 1 to do so as the number of publicly reported allegations mounted.

James named two veteran outside attorneys to run the investigation: Joon Kim, a former federal prosecutor and acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, and Anne Clark, an employment lawyer with experience in sexual harassment cases.

Kim told the briefing that the Cuomo workplace was "rife with bullying, fear and intimidation" and one in which crossing the governor or his senior staff meant you would be "written off, cast aside or worse."

The report said one of the women Cuomo targeted was a state trooper. Clark said Cuomo stood behind the trooper in an elevator and "ran his finger from her neck down her spin and said, 'Hey you.'" The governor also ran an "open hand from her belly button to her hip where she carries her gun," Clark added. The trooper, according to Clark, said Cuomo inappropriately touched her from "in her words, her chest to her privates."

The report shows that investigators did not find Cuomo's explanations about his encounters to be credible. It said Cuomo's "blanket denials and lack of recollection as to specific incidents stood in stark contrast to the strength, specificity, and corroboration of the complainants' recollections."

It was a swift fall for the governor. Cuomo became nationally popular last year in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic by presenting himself as an authoritative figure in daily televised press conferences. The complaints about sexual harassment emerged after broader criticism by Democratic politicians in the state that Cuomo governed through intimidation.

Cuomo, the divorced father of three adult daughters, was elected to three terms as governor, as was his late father, Mario Cuomo. Like his father, Andrew Cuomo resisted the temptation to run for U.S. president despite much speculation about possible national ambitions.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; editing by Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis)

Republican Who Mulled Run Against Cuomo Retires After Sexual Harassment Charge

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Republican Rep. Tom Reed said yesterday that he would not run for re-election or for any other office in New York in 2022, an announcement that came two days after the Washington Post published a story where a former lobbyist named Nicolette Davis accused Reed of sexually harassing her at a Minneapolis restaurant in 2017.

Davis, who was a 25-year-old insurance company lobbyist at the time, recounted that she had briefly met Reed earlier on the day in question during a networking trip. Davis says she went to a restaurant with several of her colleagues later that evening that Reed also happened to be at, and she wound up sitting next to him at a table.

In the words of reporter Beth Reinhard, Davis says that the congressman put his "hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp," which left her "stunned" and afraid to speak. Reinhard continued, "He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward." Reed only stopped, according to Davis, after she asked another person at the table for help, who then "pull[ed] the congressman away from the table and out of the restaurant."

Davis showed the paper a text from that night in which she told her friend and coworker, Jessica Strieter, "A drunk congressman is rubbing my back," and later added, "HELP HELP." An unnamed witness also told Reinhard that "Reed was visibly intoxicated and put his hand on Davis' back before being escorted from the restaurant while the rest of the group remained."

Strieter says that Davis told her more about the incident after the trip, adding, "She was really shaken by it." Davis' supervisor at the time, Brad Knox, also said that he remembered Davis telling him about what happened. Knox added that he asked Davis if she wanted to file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee but says that she decided not to. Davis herself says she now regrets not pursuing that option, but explained, "I was afraid I would become 'that girl' who made a mess of things for a member, and that no one would ever want to associate with me."

The Post contacted Reed, who had been mulling a bid for governor of New York, with a list of questions for the story, to which he responded, "This account of my actions is not accurate." On Sunday, though, Reed published a statement apologizing to Davis and announcing that he would not be on the ballot for anything next year.

Deciding Cuomo’s Fate Is The Voters’ Job

Please explain again why New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo must resign. Or, put another way, what gives his political opponents, many of them fellow Democrats, the right to undo an election on the basis of unverified assertions of sexual misconduct — some ridiculously trivial, none involving violence or threat to careers, several open to innocent interpretations.

The comments on news stories should warn the political swarm of growing public annoyance at this massive pile-on against a governor most New Yorkers still consider effective.

Cuomo made some missteps early in the pandemic, but when the dimensions of the crisis were known, he took a national lead in implementing painful measures to curb the spread. He calmed a scared public at a time when President Trump was clowning around. He won national respect and, for that, became a prime target of the right.

And so, are Democrats now to take him down on claims that he held a female staffer's hand too long? Or that he kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding party?

Destined to live in infamy is a demand by New York's two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, that Cuomo resign. "Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations," they state, "it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York."

First off, an allegation, the Cambridge Dictionary says, is "a statement, made without giving proof, that someone has done something wrong or illegal." If you find these claims "credible," why not wait for the independent investigation by the state attorney general?

And what are the allegations? The most serious one — that Cuomo groped a woman at the governor's mansion — comes from an "unidentified" aide. Since when did an unproven claim by an unknown accuser warrant the removal of a governor?

Some of the other charges would be laughable if anyone around here still had a sense of humor. The best one comes from accuser No. 4, who complains that Cuomo kissed her hand. Hand-kissing, in today's culture, is a vaguely comical gesture.

Cuomo understandably hit back at Schumer and Gillibrand. "The people of New York," he said, "should not have confidence in a politician who takes a position without knowing any facts or substance."

Once again, Democrats are devouring their own. Many see a repeat of the Al Franken debacle in which Gillibrand pushed the popular senator from Minnesota to resign over a stupid, jokey photo.

Recall the hysteria over a woman's complaint that Joe Biden nuzzled the back of her head? That set the woke herd on a stampede, and soon, media were taking seriously a woman's whacko charge that Biden had penetrated her with his fingers.

As The New York Times reported last September, "Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable."

Reade, it was later learned, had a troubled personal history. If this had gone further, Democrats, you might have been into Donald Trump's second term.

Of course, Cuomo's political foes see opportunity in getting rid of a formidable foe without having to run against him. As of now, Cuomo is vying for a fourth term.

Reports that Cuomo hid the number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19 are more disturbing, but that's not what set off the cries for his head. It was, as Cuomo himself conceded, the "unwanted flirtation."

Whether Cuomo has lost the confidence of New Yorkers can be made clear on Election Day 2022. The voters should have a say in this, don't you think?

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.