President Joe Biden on Tuesday joined the tsunami of elected officials calling upon embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign after a report said Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.
“I think he should resign,” Biden said, according to The Washington Post.
“Look, I’m not going to flyspeck this,” he continued. “I’m sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t.”
Biden referred to comments he made in March as the investigation into Cuomo was gearing up.
“What I said was if the investigation by the attorney general concluded that the allegations were correct, back in March, I would recommend he resign,” Biden said, according to The New York Times. “That is what I’m doing today.”
Cuomo must RESIGN.
Cuomo must be ARRESTED.
Cuomo staff must be PROSECUTED.
THE GOVERNOR’S CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE IN NEW YORK MUST END IMMEDIATELY.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 3, 2021
Biden said he had not spoken to Cuomo, who has been a longtime political ally. He also said he had not read the full report.
“All I know is the end result,” Biden said.
WATCH the full remarks by President Joe Biden on the state AG report of sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I think he should resign.” pic.twitter.com/pUMzQtlptZ
— Luke Parsnow (@coolhand_luke88) August 3, 2021
Cuomo indicated after the report’s release that he had no plans to step down, saying the “facts are much different from what has been portrayed.”
Asked what should happen if Cuomo refuses to heed the nearly universal calls for his resignation, Biden said, “I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach, I do not know that for a fact,” according to CNBC.
The Democrat-controlled state Assembly launched an impeachment inquiry against Cuomo, but as of early this week, no action appeared imminent.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares indicated Tuesday he will be seeking the evidence upon which the report was based as part of a criminal investigation into the governor.
“We will be formally requesting investigative materials obtained by the AG’s Office, and we welcome any victim to contact our office with additional information,” Soares said, according to the Post.
Democrat after Democrat came forward to give Cuomo a shove.
“As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign.”
Pelosi calls for Cuomo to resign ——> pic.twitter.com/wt2EFQeJD4
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) August 3, 2021
The Attorney General’s independent investigation concluded that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former staff, violating federal and state law.
I am calling on him to resign.
If Cuomo refuses, I am calling on @carlheastie & the Assembly to move to impeach immediately.
— Alessandra Biaggi (@SenatorBiaggi) August 3, 2021
Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered her reaction to the report.
Should Andrew Cuomo step down?
“All women who have lived through this type of experience, harassment or abuse or, in the worst case, assault, deserve to have their voices heard,” Psaki said, according to the Times. “I don’t know that anyone could’ve watched this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent. I know I did.”
Cuomo’s office called the report “an utterly biased investigation” that “willfully ignored evidence.”
However, New York Attorney General Letitia James said the report was sound in its conclusions.
“Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws,” she said. “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”
She said the report revealed “a deeply disturbing, yet clear picture” and “conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government.”