Reprinted with permission from Alternet
In his first public appearance after three women stepped forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, harassment, or inappropriate behavior, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized but said he is not going to resign at this time.
"I'm sorry," Cuomo said after his coronavirus briefing, the first in several days. He said he had no idea he was making anyone feel uncomfortable. He repeatedly said he is "embarrassed."
Asked if he should step aside, Cuomo told reporters: "I'm going to cooperate with the Attorney General investigation."
"I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never knew, at the time, that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable," Cuomo added, again repeatedly apologizing.
Some are pointing to this photo as evidence his "usual custom," was inappropriate.
Andrew Cuomo: "You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people, men, women -- it is my usual and customar… https://t.co/KOAyNmyb4y— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1614796951.0
Fox News notes "nearly 30 Democratic and Republican New York lawmakers have stated that Cuomo should either resign or face impeachment."
One of the three women says the harassment occurred at a 2019 wedding reception. Anna Ruch says Cuomo asked if he could kiss her after touching her inappropriately.
"Mr. Cuomo put his hand on Ms. Ruch's bare lower back, she said in an interview on Monday," The New York Times reported.
"When she removed his hand with her own, Ms. Ruch recalled, the governor remarked that she seemed 'aggressive' and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer."
"I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed," said Ms. Ruch, whose recollection was corroborated by the friend, contemporaneous text messages and photographs from the event. "I turned my head away and didn't have words in that moment."