“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday. His remarks delivered after a flurry of sexual harassment allegations were revealed by multiple women.
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” Cuomo said, adding, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
Many leading politicians, both Democrat and Republican, have shown little interest, and even contempt, towards the Governor’s apology. Additionally, some politicians have conveyed concern as the Governor attempts to “select a qualified private lawyer to do an independent review of allegations of sexual harassment,” as expressed in communications with New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who has called for a full investigation of nursing home mandates implemented by the Governor’s Office, was not impressed with the apology. In a statement of her own, Cortez demanded the Governor follow a fair process in the review of these allegations, “Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett’s detailed accounts of sexual harassment by Gov. Cuomo are extremely serious and painful to read. There must be an independent investigation — not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General.”
Senator Chuck Schumer, avoiding any direct statement of his own, allowed a spokesperson to present a formal response to the allegations surrounding the Governor. “Sen. Schumer has long believed sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated, and that allegations should be thoroughly and independently investigated,” said Schumer’s spokesperson.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made a statement, calling for “an independent, transparent and swift investigation into these serious and deeply concerning allegations.”
In Governor Cuomo’s own words from the 2018 allegations against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, any allegations of sexual harassment or assault should be resolved with a lie detector test.